I think every kid, at least once, tries to make a comic book. Cartoon Network used this childhood past time to issue a challenge to all kids. In the Fall of 2011, the “Stop Bullying: Speak Up Comic Challenge” began. The main page reads “Bullying is everyone’s problem, and it is up to us to SPEAK UP and do something about it.”
Even kids who can’t draw can enter by creating their own avatar and remixing a set of cartoon panels to create their own solutions to common schoolyard problems. Every week the best comic is posted as the main page comic.
Students have a huge impact in the bullying of others when they speak up about when it happens. Until now, they have had little input in the way bullying gets handled, even though they are the ones being bullied or watching it happen. Oftentimes, they don’t know what to do, or how to handle things. This campaign serves not only as an educational tool, but allows kids to think up solutions in a fun and creative way.
By introducing the subject through comics—a format kids love—we hope to really get them talking and thinking critically about what they can do to reduce bullying at school and in their social lives. We think that this initiative could be the start of something very big in that respect.
More than 100,000 visitors and a million page views have logged in since the launch in October, which was National Bullying Prevention Month. Cartoon Network has committed to place all the best cartoons into a downloadable anthology for educators and administrators to use in the classroom.
Originally, the campaign was only to run through the end of November 2011, but as of this writing, it is still going on.
Photo credit: joelk75