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MakeBeliefComix
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Dear Reader,

View this page as a place where you and I can have a conversation on subjects that are meaningful to both of us. On a regular basis I plan to post a topic or question on my mind which I encourage you to respond to (see below).

On this same page you will also find some of the responses that have been sent in by those who have viewed this web site. Please feel free to submit your own questions and thoughts which I might comment on and share with other viewers. I truly look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Archive for April, 2007

The World Has Known Good People

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

I recently saw some films about people who resisted the Nazis during World War II. Some were Jews who worked with resistance groups to defeat the Germans; others were people who worked to smuggle Jews out of Europe to Palestine. These were brave people who overcame their fears to do very important things, to bring down evil and to save lives. I wonder if I were in their situation would I, could I be as brave.
But perhaps the people who touched me the most were Christians who lived in a small French village, Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, whose residents saved the lives of 5,000 Jews during the German occupation. This Huguenot village provided shelter for fleeing Jewish refugees and hit them from the Nazis. The film, first released in the 1990s, shows the aged inhabitants of Le Chambon being interviewed by a mature filmmaker who originally had been born in that village to which his parents had fled. The people of Le Chambon were all very modest and did not think that their actions were extraordinary. They answered that they provided shelter because they believed it was God’s work to do so. Their modest stunned me and gave me renewed hope in the capacity of human beings to do good at a time when evil pervades.
In a talk after the movie, an elderly Jewish man who lived two years in the village during the war said that all the elderly people shown in the movie have since died, and that the village is not the same as it was so many years ago. The children have departed to live in the big cities. And, I thought to myself, what a loss to the world of such people with such Godly values. We are in such desperate need today for such people who carry such love and decency in their hearts. I am thankful to have learned about these people.
What about you? Do you know such kind, good people, too?

New Online Comics Site to Help You Write, Read, Tell Stories

Sunday, April 1st, 2007

Dear reader,
I am an author whose books are used in many school programs to encourage children to express themselves through writing. I have just launched a second free new web site — http://www.makebeliefscomix.com — where students can create their own comic strips. The site offers fun animal and human characters with different moods, thought and talk balloons to fill in with words, and story prompts. It’s a wonderful resource to spur children and adults to write, read and communicate their ideas and to practice English and other languages. It is also being used as a tool by educational therapists who work with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. I would be very appreciative if you would share with your friends, family and colleagues, or suggest groups whom I should contact to share this information. I need your help because it takes a community to build a community resource like this.
With thanks,
Bill Zimmerman
Online Educational Comics Launched to Encourage Writing, Reading and Communication
By Author/Journalist Bill Zimmerman
–- http://www.makebeliefscomix.com
Dear reader,
I want to share with you news of my newest educational project and also ask for your help to make it succeed.
I’ve just launched a new web site — http:// www.makebeliefscomix.com — where children and adults can create their own comic strips. They can select from 10 fun characters with different moods — happy, sad, angry, worried – and write words for blank talk and thought balloons to make their characters talk and think. There also are story ideas and prompts to help users create graphic stories.
This site can be used by educators to teach language, reading and writing skills, and also for students in English-as-a-Second-Language programs to facilitate self-expression and storytelling. Some educational therapists use it with deaf and autistic people to help them understand concepts and communicate. Parents and children can create stories together, print them to create comic books or email1317 them to friends and family. Others will find the site a resource to be creative, calm down and have fun.
I am hoping that you will share http://www.makebeliefscomix.com with your colleagues, teachers, students or readers of your publications and resource lists. The site is free with no advertising. Any help you might offer in getting word out about this project is very appreciated. If you can suggest other people or groups whom I might contact to make them aware of the site please send me their names, email1317 addresses or phone numbers. Relevant Internet resource sharing groups would be helpful, too. It takes a community to build a useful resource like this one.
As one who learned to read with comic books, I know that creating comic strips can help people tap into their creativity and practice their language and storytelling skills. The site is free and stems from my lifelong mission to create resources that help people find their voice and express themselves. The concept for makebeliefscomix.com is derived from my earlier books, Make Beliefs and Make Beliefs for Kids of All Ages (which can be found on my other web site: http://www.billztreasurechest.com). A Make Beliefs interactive feature appeared for 13 years on my syndicated Student Briefing Page for Newsday, and in National Geographic’s World Magazine.
I hope you like http://www.makebeliefscomix.com and will use it in your work and personal life. Your feedback is welcome and very helpful.
With thanks and every good wish,
Bill Zimmerman
(wmz@aol.com)