The Comic Art Europe programme is all about demonstrating the importance of comics in societies across Europe and supporting new and young comics creators in developing their skills and experience. One element of the programme is proving that comics can have a positive impact on literacy skills, enabling people from all ages and backgrounds to become better readers, writers and communicators and enhancing their confidence and social skills. This programme will be internationally and nationally significant and runs from 2021-2023.
Each European partner will work with one group to research the impact of comics on literacy. Abraham Moss Primary School in Manchester, Year 3 and aged 8 years, will be the UK group, where we will be exploring how comics impact upon children’s enjoyment of reading and their well-being over a 14 month period. In Lyon, France, we will be working with two groups of refugees over shorter periods of time to explore how comics improve functional literacy. This group will consist of people from a wide range of countries whose first language is not French and who have never attended school. In Barcelona, Spain, we will be working with a group of homeless women over a 12 month period testing how comics can help to re-establish the identities of people who are especially vulnerable with low levels of education and language skills.
The first stage of the programme will involve establishing baseline information on the participants and their levels of literacy and related skills in each of the projects. The second stage will be a series of creative workshops using comics and interventions by leading comics creators and facilitators who will be carefully chosen to meet the needs of the programme and the participants. The third stage will involve follow-up surveys, interviews and assessments, analysing the results and feeding back the outcomes to key players in the fields of education, literacy and the arts to enable more children and educators to benefit from all that comics have to offer.