I have to give a shout out to Huegel Elementary School here in Madison. I visited their school last year and did a little cartoon workshop with all of the students. As usual, I had a blast. They want to have me back for an encore performance, but this time for a little more in-depth instruction. And it will be made possible because of a few boxes of Bucky Books. Bucky Books are coupon books that come out annually that schools sell to raise money. (For those of you unaware, Bucky Badger is the beloved mascot of the Univeristy of Wisconsin.) Apparently, the company that produces the Bucky Book has a contest every year in which they give 125 free books to one school that writes in and tells them what they would do with the funds raised from selling the books. Parent volunteer Susan Palmer of Huegel decided to make this pitch for her school: “With the money, our students could enjoy a cartoon workshop presented by Jason Kotecki, the creator and illustrator of ‘Kim & Jason.’ Last February, Jason visited our school to discuss his work as a cartoonist and illustrator. Since then, our children have not stopped creating their very own comic strips, even during the summer months! Plus our parents have not stopped talking about their children’s experience with Jason! Creating cartoons allows the children to be creative in their drawings, increase their vocabulary, and build their storytelling skills. Most of all, reading cartoons helps build those necessary reading skills! If we could have Jason back this school year to work with the children in smaller groups of 25 at least three or four times, we could bring immeasurable joy to the kids! We also hope to collect our own comic strips into one publication for our school community. Selling Bucky Books would help us bring this dream one step closer to reality.” I am left scratching my head that Bucky Book awarded this year’s bounty of free books to Huegel Elementary, so it looks like I’ll be headed there in October. What an honor. Thank you, Susan and Huegel. And thank you, Bucky.
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