It’s a bird, it’s a plane … it’s a new tool for learning!
Encouraging children to read more of stories that fit into comic book word balloons might sound a bit, well, comical, but adults nationwide are realizing that superheroes may just be able to rescue students’ motivation to read and write.
Students in hundreds of U.S. schools participate in The Comic Book Project, which began as an after-school program seven years ago in New York City (www.comicbookproject.org).
The project uses the arts — comics, specifically — to improve children’s literacy and promote character development.
That character development is two-fold: there are the comic book characters, which the children create, and societal character, which the children build as they read and make their own stories about superheroes that make the world a better place.
Meanwhile, Spider-Man will make an educational comeback with a whole cast of characters in an upcoming free comic book by a French filmmaker, Marvel Entertainment and the United Nations.
The filmmaker, Romuald Sciora, has said the comic book will teach children the value of international cooperation and sensitize them to problems in other parts of the world.
The U.N. expects to put the book in the hands of more than 1 million American children before eventually translating it for children in other countries.
Wendy K. Kleinman