The ongoing Stop Bullying: Speak Up campaign, hosted by Cartoon Network and its parent company Time Warner, has extended into the comic world thanks to a collaboration with Bitstrips, a service that allows kids to customize their own virtual comic strips through adopting cartoon avatars.
The Stop Bullying: Speak Up Comic Challenge, which began earlier this month and has already garnered 100,000 visitors, will run throughout November and allows kids to use the online program and submit their artwork to an online gallery where best entries will be published in a downloadable comic anthology.
To date, more than 17,000 comics have been created on the website www.stopbullyingcomics.com.
The comic strips are meant to literally immerse kids into issues of school bullying and therefore are primed for classroom use. For instance, teachers can choose from eight bullying prevention activities and assign them to students through a secure virtual classroom. Finished comics can be shared by teachers in their own classroom gallery, where they can be read by other students and parents. Currently, roughly a million teachers and students worldwide use the Bitstrips for Schools platform, which churns out 20,000 new customized comics every day.
Stop Bullying: Speak Up launched last October and is focused on motivating bystanders with safe, empowering strategies and tactics to speak up and help prevent bullying. In September, the network partnered with Facebook to launch an interactive Stop Bullying: Speak Up social pledge app that enables educators, parents, and kids to make a personal commitment—and recruit others to join them—to help stop bullying.