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Graphic Novels at Chavez! 

Students explore the everyday heroes in their lives  

This fall, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Streetside Stories workshops at Cesar Chavez Elementary School are learning the art of graphic novels! Local artist and activist Chelsea Carl is working with students to express how everyday heroes can make positive change in their communities. Chelsea is exploring this theme using graphic novels because they’re approachable and engaging to read, and because many of her students are English Language Learners. The process of combining words with images helps students make connections in the language they are working to acquire. “As someone who loves making narratives and films, creating stories with images is right up my alley”, Chelsea says. “ I appreciate the way that words and images relate on a page: how one can translate, juxtapose, or further explain the other.”

Early on, Chelsea’s students examined sample graphic novels including One! Hundred! Demons! and ¡Si Se Puede!, participated in role playing games, experimented with a series of short exercises designed to teach the core elements of graphic novels, and brainstormed story ideas in their journals. Her students are now working on their own graphic novels, tackling topics that range from family traditions, to bullying, to favorite pets. They are putting their newly acquired comic skills to the test while creating illustrations, speech bubbles, captions, and considering important finishing touches in their layout and cover design. A student named Dexire is most excited about drawing the different scenes of her story, while Araceli is focused on perfecting her layout. Their classmate Mariana says she liked writing her story the most. Whichever aspect of this dynamic medium captured their interest, graphic novels are proving to be an effective tool for telling student stories and we can’t wait to see the finished products at their sharing day later this month!


Inspired Giving

A big THANK YOU to some generous middle school students

We recently received a gift from a surprise group of donors - students at Cupertino Middle School! 


In a letter to Streetside Stories, 7th/8th grade art and photography teacher Lisa Jablonski explains, "I am fortunate enough to work in a community where art and elective programs are valued, and we have the resources to bring this magic to our students. Because of their good fortune, I encourage my students to give back." Lisa's students organized an art show where they sold prints of their photographs. Following the show, they investigated arts organizations around the Bay Area and voted collectively to award their sales total as a donation to Streetside Stories! We were honored, impressed, and touched to be on the receiving end of such a thoughtful gift from a donor group the same age as many of our students.  

We hope you will follow the lead of these students to help us reach the $15,000 goal of our year end campaign. You can learn more HERE, and give HERE.

Streetside at Youth Arts Summit   

Our students share their self portraits and words of wisdom 

On Saturday, December 5th, we showcased the stunning products of a collaboration between Streetside Stories, Girls to Women, and One Bird at the 5th annual San Francisco Youth Arts Summit.  Thank you to the Youth Art Exchange for hosting such an amazing annual event! 


We had a great time and were proud to share the results of our students' hard work! It was a great opportunity to join forces with so many organizations and community members who value and celebrate young artists. We'd love to see you there next year. Like and follow our Facebook page and we'll keep you posted on Bay Area youth arts and education events. 

A special THANK YOU to Max Barbanell and Future US for your generous grant and in-kind donation of office supplies! We appreciate the chairs, computer monitors, and headphones! 

Photo Credits: Natalie Mann, Tara Malik
Copyright © 2015 Streetside Stories, All rights reserved.

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