Pop Culture Classroom Goes to Jail

OK, that head line probably sounds pretty misleading, but I am going somewhere with it. Pop Culture Classroom (PCC) has a goal to help young at risk adults with their literacy and art skills. And what group is more at risk then those that are already in jail (shameless stealing of quote from Illya Kowalchuck, PCC Directory of Education)? Well thanks to a $26,000 grant that was awarded last week to the Denver-based nonprofit PCC; Denver jail inmates 18 to 24 will get to take a six-week course called LEAD With Comics this February. LEAD stands for Literacy Education in Adult Detention. PCC will be working with a special education teacher from Denver Public Schools to help make this a great experience.

PCC Executive Director Sam Fuqua states that "There is a strong correlation between improved literacy and recidivism" and that "The LEAD project is a creative way to reach out to struggling readers and help them find a positive way forward.  Here is hoping that it does well enough here that it can start making its way around the country!

This is not the first thing PCC has done to try and teach, just possibly the first time with inmates. In the past they have used a "Storytelling Through Comics" unit with hundreds of 5th - 7th graders in Colorado. PCC is also the producer of Denver Comic Con taking place May 23-25 this year.