Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Educators workshop at the festival

Free Graphic Novel Workshop for Educators and Librarians: Super-Powered Comics Reading at the Maine Comics Arts Festival

PORTLAND, MAINE(May 4, 2009) – On Sunday, May 17, acclaimed national speaker Peter Gutiérrez will present “Super-Powered Comics Reading: Building Literacy and Having Fun” -- a special graphic novel workshop for educators and librarians at The Maine Comics Arts Festival. This free presentation will be held at the Ocean Gateway Terminal in Portland, Maine from 10:30am to Noon as part of the day-long Maine Comics Arts Festival. This is Gutiérrez’s first time presenting in Maine.

Gutiérrez will provide an overview of the ways graphic novels, comics and manga foster and enhance a love of reading. His tips and techniques work across all age levels and translate perfectly into librarian-led book circles and read-alouds. He will share kid-centered ways to leverage the unique strengths of the medium to read with expression, expand vocabulary, practice visual literacy, identify story elements and master comprehension strategies.

His hour-long workshop will lead into a half-hour session with award-winning Maine educator and technology integrationist Laura Richter. She will present her new curriculum for The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli graphic novel series. The curriculum is available for free at and complimentary copies of the graphic novel will be provided to workshop attendees. The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli is written and illustrated by Jay Piscopo of Portland, Maine.

Richter will demonstrate how teachers can integrate these interactive and engaging lesson plans to expand their curriculum to an interdisciplinary experience where students learn language arts skills, geography mapping, scientific research techniques, ancient mythology, world history, and art. Authentic assessment strategies, technology integration, 21st century skills, and real life learning are all integral to the learning process embedded in these lessons.

More about the Maine Comics Arts Festival:

Presented by Casablanca Comics, this first-year festival was created to celebrate the wonderful world of comic books, comic strips, graphic novels, and web comics. The festival will be held Sunday, May 17 from 10:00am – 5:00pm in the Ocean Gateway Terminal on Thames Street on the waterfront in Portland, Maine and will feature writers, artists and publishers from the field of comics. Admission is $5 and kids 12 and under are free.

More about the presenters:

Peter Gutiérrez specializes in graphic novel professional development programs for librarians and educators throughout the United States. A member of the Commission on Media of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), Peter writes for ForeWord Magazine, School Library Journal, BookShelf, and Graphic Novel Reporter. His book on scriptwriting (including comics) will be published by Scholastic in 2010. Recent graphic novel workshops include: New York City School Library Conference, Massachusetts Library and School Library Annual Conference, New York Comic Con, Kids Comic Con, Fordham University’s Graphica in Education Conference. This November, he will be a featured speaker at NCTE’s New Media Gallery in Philadelphia.

Laura Richter is an award-winning educator and technology integrationist at Skowhegan Area Middle School in Skowhegan, Maine where she has taught for the past 24 years. Laura trains middle and high school teachers in creative and effective ways to integrate technology into their curriculum. She has been a Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) NTTI Master Teacher, MPBN Teacher of the Year, Apple Distinguished Educator, and a finalist for the ACTEM Technology Leadership Award. This summer, she will present workshops at Summer Tech 2009 in Belfast on the many ways to integrate technology into the classroom, including: how to empower learners with Noteshare, motivate students with Garage Band, engage learners with iPhoto, integrate Comic Life, and applications for Wiki.


Special graphic novel workshops for librarians and educators by Peter Gutiérrez (Super-Powered Comics Reading: Building Literacy and Having Fun) and Laura Richter (The Undersea Adventures of Capt’n Eli).


Sunday, May 17

10:30am – Noon


Ocean Gateway Terminal

Portland Waterfront

Thames St.

Portland, Maine

(Follow Commercial St. to Thames St.)


Registration is not required and admission to the presentation is free.

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