GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Life is sort of like a comic book, full of interesting characters who find themselves in unique situations.
At the Greater Green Bay Boys and Girls Club, children are getting the chance to see their own stories come to life.
In Craig Knitt’s class, the “Creative Crew” is busy working on their next artistic endeavor. Knitt’s “Young Artists” have created four comic books, Animal Tails, Doodle Planet, Imagination Station, Food Shack Funnies, and a graphic novel, Drawing From Our Lives! Our Origin Stories. Knitt and his students also produced their own television series inspired by their comic book, Food Shack Funnies.
“What we’ve done in the last six years is pretty amazing. These kind of all stemmed as like a ladder up to a higher success for their skills,” says Knitt, the club’s Creative Arts specialist.
The students apart of the club’s Youth Arts Initiative program, have developed a special bond through working with Mr. Craig. After seeing the program’s success, the Boys and Girls Club is looking to incorporate social and emotional learning, or SEL, as a fundamental part of the club’s curriculum.
“Art for me is a way to relax and for my dreams to come to life,” says 11-year-old Brion Mitchell. Mitchell’s comic book is about a trip he took with his family to the music festival Summerfest in Chicago.
“Art to me is magic,” says 10-year-old Kaylee Matzke. Matzke is working on her own comic book about her life.
Now students are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own comic books. 13-year-old Kiela Matzke and 12-year-old Asiyah Haynes are working on a comic book together.
“We decided to do a crime and art kind of comic. My favorite part is I get to spend time with him and we get to collab our stories,” says Matzke.
“We’re making the arts a foundational aspect of everything that’s done in the club, and I’m so excited by that. There’s so much learning going on here that we just love to showcase that and really show the community how valuable the Boys and Girls Club truly is,” says Knitt.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay’s programs and services promote and enhance the development of children by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, and influence. For more information on the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, click here. For more information on the Young Artist’s graphic novel and comic books, click here.