Tuesday, August 2, 2011

In the fight for better literacy, comic books are teachers’ secret weapon

This Magazine: 2011 August 2

On a cold mid-February afternoon under overcast skies, a school bell rings. The halls of Toronto’s Agnes Macphail Public School flood with children dressed in puffy jackets and schoolbags. Although a swift exodus befalls most schools at day’s end, Agnes Macphail still pulses with high-pitch chatter. Students linger in the foyer while others flock towards the school’s library. Amidst the rows of bookcases and computers, a group of students, ranging from grade six to eight, sit around tables as they talk animatedly and await the start of their book-club meeting.