Reading comics is a good way of exposing people to new ideas and exploring real life issues. More importantly, they can be an educational tool for children, which is a message that the Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) is keen to promote. Focused in Colorado, PCC was created in 2012 to educate young people through the medium of comics and sequential art. I became aware of the initiative when a member of the team, Rob Keosheyan reached out to inform me about the programme and I was happy to write about it.
PCC is split into several aspects, starting with the Storytelling Through Comics (STC) curriculum. This is focused on introducing students to comic culture and helping them to understand how they can utilise it in their artistic endeavours. STC has been taught in several schools, with some students going on to create their own comics based on what they’ve learned.
PCC runs community outreach events across Colorado, working with organisations like the Denver Maker Faire and Hauntings at the Hangar. This also translates to the Denver Comic Con, providing opportunities for students and teachers to get involved with the pop culture community. Examples include the PCC Kids Laboratory and E.D.G.E Gaming and Development.
Another program that PCC runs is the Literacy Education in Adult Detention (LEAD) initiative. This involves working with young adults in prison and helping them improve their writing and art skills with comics and graphic novels. I believe this is one of the most valuable parts of PCC because comics are being used in a positive way to help improve the lives of kids who some people might have given up on.
The Pop Culture Classroom isn’t aimed exclusively at children, as there are opportunities for teachers and parents as well. There are a number of resources available, such as The Lending Library where you can borrow graphic novels and educate your children on the wonders of comic storylines.
At its core, PCC is dedicated to promoting the benefits of comics. Educating a new generation is so important because they will have the chance to create something magical.