Reading With Josh Elder

Greg Baldino writes for Bleeding Cool

Josh Elder wants kids to read comics in school.

Kids want to read them in school too. And so do the teachers. Josh Elder is the energetic founder of Reading With Pictures, a nonprofit organization that advocates the use of comics in the classroom to promote literacy and boost educational development. Part of the organizations work is academic, researching into the proper role of comics in education; not just from the cultural point of “kids like comics already” but also looking at how comics communicate information. With an incredible roster of cartoonists, they’ve already produced an exceptional graphic anthology of comics for kids about comics and kids.

It’s a bold publishing move, one that looks to the outlet of schools and libraries in addition to book stores and comic shops. There’s been much written and discussed about comics as an art form, but it seems like in the last decade there’s been a real surge in non-fictional comics and graphic novels prompting the idea of comics as an informational form.

Now Elder and Reading With Pictures want to take their theory and put it into practice. They’ve launched a Kickstarter to produce The Graphic Textbook, a book of comics aimed at explaining math, science, and the like. The organization hopes to eventually have a whole series of books, utilizing their–

Oh heck, I’ll just let Josh explain it:

The many bonuses–in addition to digital editions of the book for $10 and hardcover print editions for $25– include the chance to be drawn into one of the stories, and teachers and librarians will want to take note of the classroom set offer: $450 gets you thirty copies of the book in both print and digital editions. Now, given that digital copies are available for a $10 pledge, solve for X where X=individual cost of the hardcover edition. Number two pencils only, no graphing calculators.

The Kickstarter launched this weekend at C2E2, where many of the artists who contributed to their previous anthology were on hand, and Elder led a morning panel during Friday’s professional hours on the organization’s mission.

Find out more about Reading With Pictures here: http://readingwithpictures.org

Read more about The Graphic Textbook here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/readingwithpictures/the-graphic-textbook?ref=card

Greg Baldino lives and writes in Chicago. Follow him on Twitter at @gregbaldino.

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