On Thursday, January 14, 2010, the Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation launched a comic book writing program for 78 fifth graders at School 21 in Paterson, NJ.
The program, â€œChristopherâ€™s Comic Book Inspirations,â€ consists of four weekly workshops taught by Alex Simmons, a professional writer of comic books and other fictional materials, as part of their arts curriculum.Â Â â€œThrough my workshops, and the Kidâ€™s Comic Con, Iâ€™ve spent a good deal of my life helping children explore their creativity and imagination,â€ Simmons said. â€œSo I welcome this opportunity to work with the Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation, and considering the inspiration behind their mission, I feel even more privileged to be a part of their first major program.â€ The students will be introduced to the process of creating comic strips â€“ from idea to finished art.Â They will also practice figure drawing while experiencing the process of creating their own characters and comic strip stories including developing plots, penciling, lettering and inking skills.
â€œWe are grateful for the opportunity being provided by the Foundation to work with Alex, a nationally recognized comic book writer. The students are really excited about creating their own comic strips and looking forward to having their work displayed around the school and the city.Â This unique opportunity is more than about comic book illustration, itâ€™s about releasing the creative energy that resides in all of us,â€ said Frank Puglise, Principal of School 21.
The Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation mission is to honor the life of Christopher Barron who died in 2007 at the age of 9 from leukemia and to instill his compassion and zest for life by providing children with unique opportunities to live life and pursue interests of which he was most passionate.Â Equally important, the Foundation seeks to empower children by encouraging them to earn such opportunities through dedication and hard work.
With Christopher’s passion for creating and selling his own comic books in mind, the Foundation developed â€œChristopherâ€™s Comic Book Inspirationsâ€ to be led by professional comic book writers and illustrators.
â€œChristopher had a good life filled with hope and opportunities that many children do not have,â€ said Suzanne Andora Barron, Christopherâ€™s mom and Foundation President. â€œWe are thrilled to share some of these opportunities with School 21â€™s fifth graders.Â Our goals are to help the children improve their writing skills, believe in themselves and the power of their imaginations and expose them to new adventures. Furthermore, we are delighted to have someone of Alexâ€™s caliber lead the workshops and be our Foundation advisor.â€
Following the conclusion of the comic book program, there will be a culminating event on February 25, 2010, for the students and their families to celebrate the childrenâ€™s efforts and to meet other professionals from Archie Comics (Fernando Ruiz and Suzanne Rowntree) as well as DC Comics who will share insights into their own love of comics.
On February 26, 2010, the Foundation launched a comic book contest with the help of talented and charismatic John Gallagher, creator of the Buzzboy comic book series.Â John, who regularly speaks to young people at libraries and schools about the magic of art, comics and creative thinking, will meet the fifth graders to help them take the next step of applying their new skills in a contest setting.Â Those children who wish to participate in the contest will have the option of illustrating a cover idea or developing a comic strip.Â Winners will be selected by a panel of
professional comic book writers and illustrators.
Christopher Barron Live Life Foundation is a public 501(C) (3) non-profit organization.Â For more information, visit www.christopherbarronlivelife.org