Heroes for Reading

Disney XD and Marvel Comics team up to champion children’s literacy

Jan 21, 2013 | By TFK Kid Reporter Rylan J. Daniels
COURTESY DANIELS FAMILY

TFK Kid Reporter Rylan J. Daniels with Drake Bell (voice of Spider-Man in “Ultimate Spider-Man”) and an actor in a Spider-Man costume.

On Saturday, January 12, I attended the kick-off event for a new children’s literacy campaign at the Burbank Library in California. The campaign is called Marvel Comics Close–Up. The goal is to use comic books to encourage kids to read. Disney and Marvel donated 210,000 books to libraries and schools across the country.

Stars from Disney XD read Spider-Man comic books to 70 kids from Boys & Girls Clubs in southern California. The stars who participated included Drake Bell (“Ultimate Spider-Man”), Dylan Riley Snyder (“Kickin’ It”), Olivia Holt (“Kickin’ It”) and Cole Jenson (“Crash & Bernstein”).

Drake Bell said that the Marvel reading campaign is aimed at kids who are bored by books. He believes comic books are the answer for kids who say they’d rather play video games. “Comic books really get you into the story,” he told TFK. “They are not just words on a page.”

The Power of Comic Books

Dylan Riley Snyder knows from experience that comic books have the power to capture kids’ imaginations. His mom was a teacher and she used comic books to motivate students who thought they weren’t interested in reading. Dylan attended these classes and would read the comic books and draw the characters along with his mother’s students.

“It was a great way for these kids to start to enjoy reading,” Dylan says.  “That’s how I got interested in reading too. Now I can share my love for comic books with others through the Marvel Comics Close-Up program.”

David Levine is the Vice President of Disney XD Worldwide. He says great stories and great characters, like Spider-Man and the Avengers, are key to making reading fun. “Reading can encourage you to explore new things and take you to all sorts of exciting places,” he told TFK.

Ready to read? Pick up a comic book or visit marvel.com/digital_comics to read one online.