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From Delhi: Farewell Baltimore!

The past 4 months have flown by! From choosing the issue, learning about each other, making comic books and now distributing them, we have been through quite a journey together. As one of our students said: “It feels like we sat together and talked face-to-face.”

It’s been amazing to watch our students grow and share their experiences across continents. We hope that you all enjoyed the project as much as we did!

Since we last shared, the kids have been very busy getting their comic out there – they have distributed about 170 comics to their friends, families and neighbors. At this point, we are confident that everyone in their community has read their story.

They also hung 3 banners in their community. The banners have a short version of their story, so even if people don’t have a book themselves, they can still learn from the project. One banner is hanging above the public toilet at one entrance of the community, where the toilet guards take extra care of it by putting in away at night and rehanging it every morning! Another banner is hung by a chai shop, where many people sit and chat over a cup of tea – and while they are relaxing they have the perfect view of the banner! The last banner is hung in the after-school center where many kids study. After 3 weeks, all the banners are still hanging!
Our students also had the chance to see all three of your amazing comics. The one on domestic violence particularly spoke to them, and the kids had quite a heated discussion afterwards, as you can see in the video here.
The video attached is our final one for this creative exchange – we hope you enjoy it and it answers some of your questions. We also hope that we can stay in touch even though our comic books are finished and the school year is wrapping up.
Finally, we want to say: Good luck to ConneXions students in all that you do!

Keepin’ It Together! Final comic!

hey KPM

TA-DA! The final comic is finally here!

keeping it 1

This one is addressing the difficult issue of abuse. We found ourselves walking a fine line between what is and what isn’t ok, but determined in the end that if you’re not sure then it’s time to talk to someone! We all need a little help sometimes, even grown-ups! Here’s a sneak peak, but you’ll find the link to the full comic below:

http://www.flipsnack.com/cstiver16/fzp3g939

We are in the middle of loooong tests right now, which every middle school student has to take every year. After testing is over next week we are going to share your new post from the celebration. It looks like you all had a wonderful time! You should be so proud!

~ConneXions

From Delhi: Comic Book Release Party!

Hi Baltimore!

First of all, your comics look AMAZING! We love how you included illustrations in the second one on underage drinking. We are having trouble with the link to the first one on bullying in school (More than a Bystander) but we look forward to seeing the full story since we already know the short version. Soon we will post a video with comments from our kids about your comics!!

Also, we are very proud to announce that we had the Launch Party of our finished comic book yesterday!! About 75 people showed up – mostly the mothers, siblings and neighbors of the students in our class. Reactions were great – our students were very proud of the work they had done and the guests couldn’t believe how creative and talented they are! Beyond being super impressed by the kids’ amazing skill and creativity, their moms now are more likely to recognize bullying as an issue for their kids. They are also more likely to ask their kids to share experiences with them so hopefully the 61% of kids who miss school at least once a month because they are being bullied can drastically drop!

Half of our club kids showing off their comics, certificates and poster that they designed!

Half of our club kids showing off their comics, certificates and poster that they designed!

One of our long-standing club member, Kajal's, little sister reading the comic that her big sister made! What a great way for families to start talking about the issue of bullying inside the home!

One of our long-standing club member, Kajal’s, little sister reading the comic that her big sister made! What a great way for families to start talking about the issue of bullying inside the home!

 Kunal and Karan, two brothers and club members, showing off their comic to their mom and helping her to make a mini-comic of her own!

Kunal and Karan, two brothers and club members, showing off their comic to their mom and helping her to make a mini-comic of her own!

We had 75 people crammed into one small room just to learn from our club kids about an issue they want to talk about: bullying. The moms were beyond impressed to see what their kids were capable of!

We had 75 people crammed into one small room just to learn from our club kids about an issue they want to talk about: bullying. The moms were beyond impressed to see what their kids were capable of!

Kajal and Mala (left and right) show off their comics, certificates and medals - and Kajal's sister (in the middle) with the book she had won from making one of the best mini-comics!

Kajal and Mala (left and right) show off their comics, certificates and medals – and Kajal’s sister (in the middle) with the book she had won from making one of the best mini-comics!

Of course, during the celebration, our students mentioned their “good friends in the US” and talked about how much they have learned from doing this project together!!! We showed off a few of the films that we have exchanged through this blog – and everyone loved them so much, we watched a few twice.

One of the highlights of the release was when we asked the mothers who came to make their own mini-comics (with the help of our students) – you can see a few in the photos above. We gave a prize to the 4 best mini-comics and each of our own students won medals and certificates.

We will continue our campaign against bullying in Geeta Colony in the coming weeks by putting the kids in charge of distributing their comics inside the community and by hanging banners and posters about the issue. We hope that the kids can take this opportunity to continue to be leaders in their own families and peer groups! Check out the poster below – the drawings and message were done by Anuj and Shatrughan.

Be a Buddy, Not a Bully

Stay tuned for another blog post soon – where we will share our students’ reactions to your comics and to the great survey that you did in your school!

~ Kid Powered Media

Too Much, Too Soon!

Hello again, KPM!

We have one more comic book pretty much ready for your viewing pleasure ūüôā Since you have your wonderful celebration tomorrow, we thought we’d post what we have so you can check it out! The third book will be up soon, too, and we’ll make sure you know when!

This group decided to make their strip about underage drinking and it’s consequences. We hope you enjoy it and learn something from it too!

underage drinking 1We’ve uploaded the first page here, and the link to the full book is below!

http://www.flipsnack.com/cstiver16/fztpqcku

 

~ConneXions

 

More Than a Bystander

Hello KPM! ¬†We are soooo excited to be almost done with our comic books, and we hope you get a chance to see all of them. ¬†We have one ready for you today, entitled, More Than a Bystander. ¬†It’s the longer version of the poster that we shared with you last week.

We also did our own survey of 75 middle schoolers:

52% said they had NEVER been bullied in school

But OF THAT 48% that have been bullied:
80% had items stolen
     50% have been teased and called names
     19% have been hit, punched or beaten
When witnessing bullying:
¬† ¬† ¬†24% of students said they’d stand up for the person being¬†bullied
¬† ¬† ¬†11% said they’d join in (with the¬†bullying)
43% of students thought cyber bullying was a big problem and OF THAT group:
     100% of their friends who were victims of cyber-bullying had cried
     87% had to avoid certain groups of people
     56% know someone who has considered suicide.
bullying poster
Our take away was that although most of our students are not¬†bullied, when they are it’s really bad and cyber¬†bullying¬†is increasingly dangerous.
Is cyber bullying something that you have to worry about in India?
comic book cover
Here is a flipsnack link to our comic!
~ConneXions

From Baltimore: Your comic book ROCKS!

KPM–We are so proud of all the hard work you have done, and we’ve learned so much from your process. You’ll hear in the video that the students liked the drawn elements of your comic book, and so we’ve gone back in and added some to ours! ¬†Thanks for the inspiration!

Since we are in the middle of putting the finishing touches on our comic books, we’ll keep this post short.¬†But for now we want to leave you with this video ūüôā

Next post coming soon!

~ConneXions

Link

From Delhi: 1-Page Comic and a link to the full version

We are sorry to be so quiet lately.

Part of the reason is that while you have been battling snow in the US, we have had one cancelled class for SARASWATI PUJA. This is a special holiday celebrated mostly in the states of Bihar and Bengal in India, but since most of our Bachchon ki Duniya students are originally from Bihar, they celebrated in their neighborhood here in Delhi too! On the first day of this two-day holiday, the whole community gives offerings at makeshift temples which house the goddess Saraswati – who is the god of arts, culture and knowledge. The next day, they take the statue of the goddess to one of the sacred rivers (for example the Yamuna River here in Delhi) and release her back to the earth, where she came from.

Here is a picture of the goddess Saraswati. She is always shown with a sitar (like a guitar) and a swan.

Saraswati

There is one more BIG reason for our silence….

We have been deep into editing the comic book!!!!

And good news: it’s finally ready!!!

First of all, a 1-page teaser – we rearranged the story in this to emphasize the main message: “what goes around comes around”!

This one-page comic shows what happens when a group of 4 friends gets harassed by a bunch of bullies - and what happens when they take the situation into their own hands. The bullies learn a valuable lesson!

This one-page comic shows what happens when a group of 4 friends gets harassed by a bunch of bullies – and what happens when they take the situation into their own hands. The bullies learn a valuable lesson!

You can find the full comic by following this link:

http://www.flipsnack.com/77E7C7EC5A8/fu5qrff5

All the photos feature our media students, the full story was written by them (and then translated into English) and they even did all the illustrations for the book! On one of the last pages, you will find a “message from Kid Powered Media and the Bachchon ki Duniya Club” which tells a little bit about what they want students to learn from their book. Also you can see a template for people to make their own comics – we hope that when we distribute the books around communities in Delhi, we will start getting homemade comics in the post! Let’s see!

Finally, you will notice on the last page we have included the one-page, short comic from your class!

Please, please, please let us know what you think and send your messages and comments to our students. And share the comic with all your friends – maybe they can even make one themselves to send to us in the mail?!

We hope you survive the cold – and we look forward to seeing more from your comics soon!

~ Kid Powered Media

 

 

Video

Youth Perspectives on Bullying

Students at ConneXions have been working hard on their comic books – below is a segment of one called More Than a Bystander. ¬†After learning about KPM’s project and talking about their own issues with bullying in Baltimore, Deja, Bryanna, Ty’shay and Anihya decided to create their own comic about what to do when bullying happens at school. ¬†Here is a sneak peak!

Image

Last week, ConneXions students also watched some videos made by participants from Wide Angle Youth Media, an organization in Baltimore that is similar to Kid Powered Media.  Check out these two movies made by middle schoolers in Baltimore this fall Рeven though they are from different parts of the city, they both decided to address the topics of bullying:

Forget the Beef, Bring the Peace 

Bullying, The Ugly Truth

Enjoy!

~ ConneXions

Video

From Delhi: Comic Book Progress!

First of all, here is a video answering a few of your questions! All of our students agreed: they don’t want any more brothers and sisters!!!

The video also shows some of the activities we have been doing lately with our students. In the last two classes, they had the chance to review all their photos (with the comic effect already in place) and cut/paste the photos into a layout. After deciding on a rough layout, we then went through, using the projector and a white board, and thought of places where we could add in a few unique illustrated details. We’ll share more of those in a few days.

Here is the photo they have chosen for the cover. We used a website called befunky.com to make the photos look more like comics.

This is the cover photo for the Bachchon ki Duniya's comic book. It shows the 4 good kids celebrating with their old, wise friend.

This is the cover photo for the Bachchon ki Duniya’s comic book. It shows the 4 good kids celebrating with their old, wise friend.

Also, we think it’s great that you are all practicing your acting and emotions to use in your comic book. We did the same thing when we started writing the story for the book, and we also practiced every class during shooting. Below is a collection of photos from an activity we did back in November, when groups had to show a whole story in only 3 photos. This game helped the kids think about the beginning, middle and end of their stories and practice their expressions/body language at the same time!

Each group had only 3 shots to tell their whole story (on bullying inside their community). Which story do you like best?

Each group had only 3 shots to tell their whole story (on bullying inside their community). Which story do you like best?

Until next time! We hope your comics are coming along well!

~ Kid Powered Media

 

 

 

 

Video

From Baltimore: More questions from ConneXions!

For students who weren’t staging their scenes and taking photographs the last few days, Ms. Moira gave them a special assignment: Interview each other about your culture–and film it! After some brainstorming, we learned that culture means anything that has to do with the way we live! Here are a few of our answers. We would love to hear your answers to these questions too!