RIC to host conference on comics in the classroom, March 26

[UPDATE: This event is sold out.]

The growing popularity and credibility of manga, comic art and graphic novels among readers of all ages – particularly among adolescents – has fueled a movement dedicated to bringing comic art into content area and literacy-rich classrooms.

This movement and its integration into the educational arena will be explored at the New England Comic Arts in the Classroom (NECAC) Conference on Saturday, March 26, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in RIC’s Alger Hall.

The conference offers K-16 and pre-service teachers an introduction to the richness of using comic art and graphic novels in their classrooms as well as specific methods and rationales for incorporating sequential art and visual storytelling into their curriculum.

Michael Bitz and Raina Telgemeier are keynote speakers at the conference.
It is open to teachers, teacher candidates, librarians, artists, comic art scholars and others interested in learning more about the increasing prominence of the graphic art and comic medium.

Two keynote speakers will address the conference – Raina Telgemeier, author and creator of the true, coming-of-age story, "Smile," and Michael Bitz, executive director of The Comic Book Project, an arts-based literacy and learning initiative funded by the non-profit Center for Educational Pathways.

Professional development workshops by K-16 educators and artists will also be offered, including two one-hour sessions in the morning and a menu of workshops and panels in the afternoon.

Among those presenting will be Nancy Silberkleit, co-CEO of Archie Comics; Tracy White, author of "How I Made it to 18"; Matt Madden, author of "99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style" and "Drawing Words, Writing Pictures"; and James “Bucky” Carter, editor of "Building Literacy Connections with Graphic Novels: Page by Page, Panel by Panel."

Also participating in the conference will be Hildy Mesnik, Marvel Comics editor; Jay Hosler, author of “Clan Apis,” “Optical Allusions,” “The Sandwalk Adventures” and “Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth”; and Barbara Slate, author of “You Can Do a Graphic Novel.”

The NCAC Conference is directed by Jennifer Cook, RIC professor and executive director of the Rhode Island Writing Project, and Michael Gianfrancesco of North Providence High School. It is sponsored by Rhode Island College, RIC's Office of Academic Affairs, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, the RIC Art Education Program, the Providence After School Alliance, Archie Comics and the Rhode Island Writing Project.

Participants will enjoy a continental breakfast and lunch.

Registration is $30 for teachers, $15 for students, and is available online at www.necac.net/registration. CEUs are available. For further information, contact Jennifer Cook (jcook@ric.edu) or Michael Gianfrancesco (michaelg@necac.net).