SECORE Aim to Inspire Children with Coral Reef Comic
A new educational kids' comic by award-winning illustrator Bernhard Speh has been published by coral conservation organisation SECORE International. According to a press release announcing the publication: 'Coral Heroes takes its readers on a lovingly drawn journey to the reefs of Towabonga, where they meet the mightiest builders on earth and get to know why corals need our help.'
Aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12, the comic seeks to 'equip children and teenagers with knowledge about corals reefs and why they are threatened ... to set the foundation for the next generation of decision-makers, practitioners, conservationists and environmentally conscientious citizens.'
'We want to spread the word how precious coral reefs are, what a wonderful underwater world they thrive in and how fragile their status is these days,' said Dirk Petersen, founder and Executive Director of SECORE. 'Giving coral reefs a future, the claim of our organization includes reaching out to the young generation – the ones that will see if our joint efforts will eventually be successful.'
The comic magazine contains two stories and additional anecdotal facts about corals. Readers join the 'coral kids' Al, Samy, Jo and Bran, along with their mentor Doc Raken, who leads them on a journey into coral reef ecology – teaching them how coral reefs are made, why corals can sting and why they carry algae inside their bodies. A second adventure sees the 'Coral Heroes' take part in a 'mystic night dive', the night when corals gather to release their future offspring. Scuba divers also play a role in the story, helping readers learn why coral reefs need our assistance, and how coral restoration programs may give them a helping hand.
The award-winning illustrator behind the comics, Bernhard Speh, explored coral reefs as a diver himself. 'I am enthralled by the colourful and often bizarre inhabitants of the diverse coral community.' he said. 'They are alive with inspirations and stories, which we just have to marvel at. The more I get to know about this spectacular and also fragile underwater world, the more fascinated I am.'
Coral Heroes can be downloaded for free from the SECORE International website, and it is freely available for any institutional education purposes – or just for fun. High-resolution print copies are also available on request. SECORE has extended an invitation to teachers, parents, conservationists and other educational personnel to use the comic and an associated presentation full of background information to aid in the teaching of coral reef ecology.
English and German versions are currently available and can be downloaded at the links below:
For more information about coral reeds, conservation and SECORE International's restoration work, visit www.secore.org