Marsden students use Manga to cross boundaries

20 August 2012

Excitement is mounting at Marsden State High School where students are about to participate in a Manga* digital storytelling extravaganza with professional Manga artist David Lovegrove on Wednesday, 22 August to launch the Crossing Boundaries with Reading program and celebrate the National Year of Reading.

Students from Years 8 and 9 at Marsden SHS will take part in a series of special activities initiated by QUT that are designed to engage their interest in all forms of reading, said Dr Hilary Hughes, from QUT's Child and Youth Research Centre.

"Crossing Boundaries is an exciting project that draws on the popularity of digital technologies and Manga in youth culture to ignite interest in reading and enhance students' learning," said Dr Hughes, who also lectures in QUT's School of Cultural and Language Studies in Education.

"We invited the students to design a logo for Crossing Boundaries and they have been enthusiastic with their entries. We will announce the winning design at the launch and it will be printed on bags and bookmarks.

"We are especially delighted that Crossing Boundaries with Reading is a community effort - QUT is in partnership with Marsden SHS staff, the Logan community, Logan City Council Libraries, School Library Association of Queensland, QUT Library, and QUT academics and students."

Dr Hughes said the project was funded by a QUT Engagement Innovation Grant and aimed to enable the students to explore and extend their personal boundaries.

"The students are encouraged to cross cultural and technological boundaries by learning tools and techniques for digital storytelling and exploring Japanese Manga and other storytelling traditions," she said.

Dr Hughes said Marsden students would also experience a day at QUT Kelvin Grove campus with QUT student mentors to extend their educational boundaries beyond school.

"Marsden SHS teachers will also have the opportunity to cross professional learning boundaries through a workshop about teaching with digital technologies," she said.

"All in all, this program is designed to lift creativity and literacy as well as give the students a sense of achievement. It's a fitting project for the National Year of Reading."

* Manga comics and graphic novels come from a more than 100-year-old Japanese tradition; they have a huge following at Marsden SHS where there is a thriving Manga Club.

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Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT media officer, 07 3138 2999 or