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Reading With Pictures is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the use of comics in the classroom to aid in literacy and the visual arts:
Educators have begun to see the value of having graphic novels in the classroom — they just don’t know which books to use or how to best use them. To address those needs, Reading With Pictures plans to work with academics, educators, and publishers to provide schools with the best possible teaching methods and classroom materials in order to successfully integrate comics and graphic novels into their curriculum.
Among their goals are to create a database of lesson plans, provide consultation and launch a speakers’ bureau. It’s a project First Second’s Calista Brill finds worthy of merit:
There’s nothing fundamentally different about teaching comics literacy to kids than teaching them the basics of poetry, art, music, math, science, reading – even running. When we educate children, we are giving them the tools to educate themselves. To find the things they love. To experience the world more fully.
And as long as there are people making amazing comics in the world, anyone who lacks the basic tools to read them is missing out. Big time.
Brill puts it a lot better than I could have. If you have time or money available, consider donating to this worthy organization.