Spider-Man Spider-Verse Short Film: Kevin Love Fund Explains Partnership

The Kevin Love Fund's Spider-Verse lesson focuses on mental health awareness.

The Spider Within: A Spider-Verse Story has released for free on YouTube and the Kevin Love Fund is excited to see students learning about mental health with Miles Morales. ComicBook.com had the pleasure of sitting down with the organization's co-Director of Education, Dr. Ellie Foster to talk about the storyboard-based lesson plans that accompany the film. The Kevin Love Fund partnered with Sony Pictures to write a lesson to correspond with the new short film. The lesson and the film are both free- accessible on YouTube and the lesson can be accessed by going to KevinLoveFund.org.

During our interview, Foster explained how they developed the curriculum to help students better address their mental health and de-stigmatize conversations around the topic. In The Hero Within, students will draws their own storyboards based on their experiences and share the work with peers and facilitators. The adults will model some of their own work to help give the students baselines to craft their own narratives and share their stories. The Kevin Love Fund hopes that people around the world will be able to make use of these lesson plans to help get the conversation started. However, Dr. Foster had to credit the entire team for helping bring this project to life.

"There's another co-director of education, Sara Hahn. She was the co-author of the curriculum, along with Kevin, of course, and scientific advisors from Stanford and Harvard. That was a team effort that really developed," Foster explained. "We were thinking,  there's so much mandatory learning that students get at school. Like geometry, or memorizing the periodic table of elements. Of course so much of this information is important but many students are not getting those tools that they need for their entire life to support their mental health"

"So, that's another really wonderful thing. We were able to all sit around the table and come up with these lessons. To access the Spider-Man lesson and send in your email and access the other lessons, Kevin Love Fund lessons," the educator explained highlighting KevinLoveFund.org

"I just want to highlight one more time. Everything we do is free. All of our support for teachers that we give, ongoing support for teachers," foster continued.Where we help them think about their only contexts and how they can support their students. We give that for free. We want to expand access to these evidenced-based lessons to support students' mental health, and if people want to contribute to this goal, there is an opportunity to donate on our webpage." 

Mental Health And Masculinity

Kevin Love and director Jarelle Dampier had an interview where they talked about mental health and the stigma surrounding discussions about feelings, emotions and other expressions. This kind of vulnerability creates a path for young students to explore their own experiences in a healthy way through art-based learning. Dr. Foster sees these models of positive exploration as a way to equip students for their lives inside and outside of the classroom. There's a measure of allignment between Love, Dampier and Miles Morales' stories.

"I think that one thing we've heard is that our lessons are can be particularly inspiring for young men. Because, we need more models of masculinity," she explained. "That includes, emotion and being able to talk about how you're feeling publicly. I think that this film accomplishes that and, Kevin  also accomplished that by sharing his story as well.

Foster continued, "That's just another kind of alignment for Miles, who's a young man. To open up and walk down the stairs and say, 'Hey, you got a minute? I'm gonna talk to you about how I'm feeling.' That's offering all young people a model that they can emulate. But ,I think particularly, 'How would I see this?' I also think it's always wonderful to have additional examples of."

Did you check out the short film yet? Let us know down in the comments!