Nancy Silberkleit: Comic books can be an academic resource





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Published on Nov 17, 2013

http://inktalks.com Nancy Silberkleit believes that a teacher must come equipped with a toolbox that is filled with whatever can embrace the skill of reading. Silberkleit, a teacher who had never read a comic book herself, stepped out of the classroom and into the boardroom when her husband passed, and took on the role of Co-CEO at Archie Comics. Watch as she urges us to harness the power of visual image in comics books to communicate with today's world.

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Nancy Silberkleit, daughter-in-law of Louis H. Silberkleit one of the founders of Archie Comics Publications, stepped into her role as Co-CEO of the company in 2009 with a vision that the comic book as a graphic novel is a valuable tool for developing literacy among first-time readers and instilling a love of reading for everyone. As a former public school educator, homemaker and mother, she knows the importance of learning to read and coined a personal motto that "Children+Comic Books=Reading, Knowledge and Confidence."

She is the wife of the late Michael Silberkleit, who was the son of Archie Comics founder Louis Silberkleit, who with his partner John L. Goldwater founded Archie Comics in 1942. She furthers her agenda of why comic books are needed in classrooms and libraries with her fervent belief that comic books can be used to engage a variety of learners, while promoting literacy and a love of reading. She feels strongly that the graphic comic book format helps to enrich and develop the creative mind. She taught art for over 20 years and has seen the power of comics to encourage literacy and creativity in children. Children love to read comic books and graphic novels and often endeavor to mimic the format with their own creations. Comics teach children about storytelling and exploring their artistic abilities through illustration. It is a natural progression for children, as a bridge to reading from the picture books of their younger years. "Reading Archie Comics for 30 minutes is what I like to call 'Archie Therapy,'" says Nancy Silberkleit, Co-CEO of Archie Comic Publications. "The light-hearted, humorous stories have appealed to readers for generations thanks to the talented writers and artists who make Archie a never-ending story."

Having recognized that young readers may not have access to comic books, she created the Comic Book Fairs at schools across America and Canada, as an event to ignite an interest in reading. They are also often used as fund-raising initiatives in which the schools earn monies through the sale of comic books. She sees comic books as another genre to our choices in literacy and a powerful tool to stimulate and build today's children into strong creative thinkers that are prepared to approach complex situations.


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