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Zuda cartoonists Johnny Zito and Tony Trov emailed me yesterday to let me (and presumably, everyone else) know that they recently donated their entire comic book collections to RiF, better known as Reading is Fundamental. “That’s how committed to the digital revolution we are,” Zito wrote.
Zito added that the roughly 10,000 comics they donated to the organization’s after school programs around the country. “This promotes literacy and hopefully expands the comic book reading audience to a new generation,” he said.
The really good news is that RiF will be accepting donations for the rest of the school year and possibly onward as Zito and Trov look to make this a permanent operation. In the meantime, interested parties can send their comic book donations to:
RiF Comic Book Donation Drive
St. Aloysius Education Clinic
219 West 132nd Street
New York, NY 10027
So if you got an underread (and age-appropriate) graphic novel gathering dust on your shelves, now you know where to send it to.
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.