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On Friday April 21st, the Upper School welcomed graphic novelist Jake Parker to Hope Hall. With an entertaining and hand-drawn, interactive presentation, Jake walked the students through his journey from a young boy obsessed with drawing to his lucrative career drawing for Blue Sky Studios productions (the Ice Age 3 and Rio movies) and Marvel Comics, and as an author and illustrator of graphic novels. After peppering Jake with thoughtful questions, students had the opportunity to spend some small-group time with the artist/author in their extended-period English classes.
The morning program culminated in a special lunch for Grades 6-8 that celebrated the art and craft of creating graphic novels. At each table, that was decorated a la Roy Lichtenstein, students shared lunch with a faculty/staff member over an exchange of ideas about a particular graphic novel they were assigned to read. (Did you know there was a graphic novel adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary?).
The graphic novelist’s visit highlighted the “interconnectedness” that is a hallmark at RA/LP. Creating a program around this genre of literature, engaging members across different departments (English, Art, Dining Services, even Human Resources got in on the production as Stephanie Kowalski served as one of the lunch table discussion moderator), and inviting an expert to share his perspective broadly with students in an assembly, and in small groups during English classes are the kinds of experiences that are beyond the scope of tuition and set RA/LP apart.
Friday’s programming is a perfect demonstration of what is possible with a robust Annual Fund. Exposure to unique and creative presentations, participation in programming that enlivens classwork, and opportunities for interactive exchanges with peers and guest professionals is what makes an RA/LP education special and meaningful. All of this is possible thanks to resources provided through the Annual Fund. We are grateful to all our Annual Fund donors. We wouldn’t be RA/LP without you!