89.1 WEMU

#OTGYpsi: Local Sixth Grade Class Writes Superhero Anthology

Jul 18, 2018

Each week, 89.1 WEMU partners with an embedded reporting program called "On the Ground-Ypsi" highlighting some of the positive things happening in the community.  This week, 89.1 WEMU's Lisa Barry spoke with Concentrate Media reporter Brianna Kelly about a book written by a sixth grade class at Ypsilanti's Estabrook School.  They are joined by Estabrook teacher Jennifer Gray and Megan Gilson of 826michigan, which oversaw the project.  The book features local superheroes and is called "In The Clouds Over Ypsilanti."


This unique blend of superhero short stories and journalistic profiles is 826michigan’s "In the Clouds Over Ypsilanti," written by a sixth­ grade students at Estabrook Elementary with a book launch on June 5. 

The result of a year-­long engagement with Jennifer Grey’s classroom, this project was led by 826michigan’s Washtenaw School Program Coordinator Megan Gilson and supported by a team of volunteers that included professional writers, graduate students, and educators. 

"In the Clouds Over Ypsilanti" focuses on representation and diversity: students created superheroes who represented them—through language, age, race, gender, and beyond.  While mainstream superhero stories are dominated by white males, students created their superhero stories to reflect themselves and their community, their stories asserting that their voices and identities belong in the superhero genre. 

This collaboration between Ypsilanti Community Schools and 826michigan provides important learning and creative opportunities in the classroom for students and amplifies student voices. 

Resources:

Concentrate Ann Arbor

Brianna Kelly's Feature Article: Ypsi kids write book about fictional and real-life superheroes

826michigan

Estabrook Learning Community

Young Authors Book Project

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— Lisa Barry is the host of All Things Considered on WEMU. You can contact Lisa at 734.487.3363, on Twitter @LisaWEMU, or email her at lbarryma@emich.edu