By Chris Wilson
The Graphic Classroom will be changing soon as we have forged a partnership with the national non-profit comics-in-education agency, Reading With Pictures. Josh Elder, award-wining graphic novelist and nationally syndicated cartoonist, founded RWP in 2009 to revolutionize the role of comics in education.
That is the same goal as The Graphic Classroom and TGC is not alone in that endeavor. There are many experts out there fighting to change the way education approaches reading, writing and discovery. I consider many of them friends. Our efforts, all our efforts, can at times feel very fragmented and disjointed –– worker bees writing, speaking, influencing educators to significantly impact students lives using comics as a tool in the teacher’s arsenal, but doing so more independently than collectively, at least most of the time.
This fragmentation is changing. Those of us in the movement are talking, sharing, and collaborating on books and speaking engagements. We are becoming friends. Through those friendships, it is becoming apparent that we must become more united in our efforts and supports. It’s time for comics-in-education experts to level up and meld our efforts more officially than tangentially.
After all, there are those who oppose our efforts, despite the academic research demonstrating that comics significantly and positively impact the reading motivation, reading skills of students and leads to reading of other modes such as novels, short stories, poetry and the like. As I have stated before:
“Not reading never leads to reading. Reading leads to reading.”
I look forward to forging more friendships and partnerships so we can stand united behind what we know changes the lives of our students and prepares the for the 21st century. I see that vision coming true and accepted Elder’s invitation to partner with Reading With Pictures. More details on the changes are on the way in January and February. Stay tuned and stay strong. Your willingness to use comics to help your students is research based, innovative, exciting, and beautiful.
The Graphic Classroom and Reading With Pictures stand with you.