Across the Boards - Fall 2019 Feature

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kent Allin, Hastings and Prince Edward DSB

Use of Graphic Novels gets Teacher an Invitation to Stockholm, Sweden

By Kerry Donnell, Hastings and Prince Edward DSB

A teacher's passion for comic books and interest in Indigenous literature led to an invitation to give two lectures in Stockholm, Sweden. High school teacher Kent Allin from Bayside Secondary School in Belleville spoke at the Canadian Embassy, examining the use of First Nations, Métis and Inuit comic books and graphic literature as a means to promote cultural awareness, and also at the Stockholm International Series Festival.

Allin said graphic literature is a great way to deliver a message.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kent Allin, Hastings and Prince Edward DSB

"It's one thing to have words on a page, but sometimes that old idea that a picture is worth a thousand words is a fairly rich one," he said. "And the beauty of comic books is not only do you get the picture worth a thousand words, but you get the thousand words on top of that, so you double down on what you come across with."

Allin has been teaching a Grade 12 English course on graphic literature since 2008. For the past five years, he has combined his passion for comic books with an interest in Indigenous literature.

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