Due to the concerns over the coronavirus, numerous states have officially shut down all public schools. With the CDC suggesting closures of at least 8 weeks, educators are fighting incredible odds to transition their classrooms to remote learning. Students are also at risk of being cut off from crucial literacy resources like libraries and computer labs.
This prolonged separation from reading materials will no doubt increase the difficulties for the two-thirds of students in the US who are not reading on grade level. Especially those in low income communities, where schools are the only place they have access to books.
While teachers around the country scramble for remote teaching resources, the national nonprofit Weird Enough Productions has released over 400 pages of comics, lesson plans, and activities free on their website.
“It’s the right thing to do,” said Executive Director, Tony Weaver, Jr. “Teachers are working with limited resources and now more than ever, students need something positive. Graphic novels have been proven to increase student literacy and engagement at record levels, and right now, I think we all could use an escape.”
The UnCommons, Weird Enough’s flagship comic, follows a group of unlikely outsiders who must save each other to save the world. This comic is partnered with over 100 standards aligned lesson plans for teachers to use with students and has gained the attention of Lebron James.
Weaver, who was recently named a History Shaker by Coca Cola for Black History Month, is also collaborating with teachers to host digital classroom visits to encourage students.