GREENVILLE – One of my fondest childhood memories was racing home from church to read the Sunday Funnies. The comics kept me entertained and laughing for hours; from Peanuts to Garfield when I was younger to Bloom County as I entered my teenage years. Unfortunately for my funny bone, many of the newspapers that exist today have more of a cognitive focus with games and puzzles instead of comics. However, Abner Miller, a third grader here at Greenville Elementary, had a plan.
Abner has created a comic club. It started as a fun activity for him and a friend, and they wanted to share it with other third grade students. Abner was very up-front about the expectations of the club, and it was noted in the parent permission form that no guns, knives, or violence will be portrayed in any of the comics. The comics are intended to be kid and family oriented. It is also important that while members try hard to present their best work, one doesn’t have to be a well-developed artist to join.
As with any club, Abner recognized that materials would be needed to adequately get the thirty-seven members started. Therefore, he asked to speak at the January PTA meeting to request funds. Abner was very brave and made a speech to the group about the items needed for the club. The PTA was impressed with his desire to help budding comic strip writers and provided him with $100.00 to get started. This money will be used for individual folders to store incomplete work, organizers and boxes for classroom teams, regular pencils, colored pencils, markers, and reams of white paper. Perhaps the most needed items of all are the blank comic book templates and snacks!
Ashley Miller, third grade teacher, club supervisor, and mother to Abner, shared the benefits of the club include exploring and incorporating different genres of literature, learning to work together as a team, and sharing both writer and illustrator responsibilities. It is hoped that students will have some of their comic club work displayed at
Waves of Pride at the end of March. Abner envisions having a “best comic” recognized each month. He would like the local newspaper to also include a picture of the author and illustrator. Abner indicated the ultimate goal is to publish a book of comics and have that placed in the school library for others to enjoy. Until that time, “We will see you in the funny papers!”
– Kitty Davis, Greenville Elementary School 3-4 Principal.