Ever since I was a little girl, I have LOVED to read. I mean, LOVED. I remember being so captivated by The Secret Garden that I didn’t eat dinner for two straight nights–I just wanted to read.
So when I realized my son was a bit of a reluctant reader, I didn’t know what to do to encourage him. Not wanting to read? Does not compute. How could you not want to read?
My stepbrother–an accomplished animator, comic book illustrator, and artist, himself–told me that he was the same way as a youngster, and that comics were the key that opened the door to a lifelong love of reading. He graciously gave my son some Batman anthologies from his own personal collection, and that was all it took to get my son really excited about reading!
Not surprisingly, there are many boys and girls just like my son. Those kids are the motivation behind one of my favorite Colorado non-profits, Pop Culture Classroom. PCC was developed with the purpose of “ignit[ing] a love of learning, increas[ing] literacy, celebrat[ing] diversity and build[ing] community through the tools of popular culture and the power of self-expression.”
In short, they use comics and other pop culture media to teach and inspire kids toward that love of reading. PCC’s various programs can be found in schools and libraries throughout the state, and they work with educators and comic authors, illustrators, and publishers to keep the curriculum fresh, innovative, and relevant.
I was given the opportunity to pick the brain of PCC’s Director of Education, Illya Kowalchuk, and ask him a few questions about how our readers can get involved with PCC. Here’s what he had to tell us!