Disney Comics in the Classroom?

Comic-book reading is fundamental, according to Maryland’s top educator, who wants to see comics starring Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and other Mouse House favorites used to promote literacy in elementary and middle school classrooms.

The Associated Press reports that Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick and the state of Maryland last year teamed with Disney Publishing Worldwide and its educational division to launch a pilot project in eight third-grade classrooms. Disney created comics-based lesson plans that adhere to the state’s reading standards, weaving in important comprehension skills.

While Grasmick notes that comic books and graphic novels shouldn’t replace other forms of literature, she believes they can help reluctant readers form healthy habits. Other educators apparently agree since 80% of the teachers in the pilot program wanted to continue using comics in some form.