Awhile back I posted information we had received from a Schenectady, NY school that was seeking comic book donations. Here is an update we received from Walter Mahoski, a representative from the school:
I received donations of about 3000 comics in just about three weeks which really floored me. Of particular note was the participation of the following people:
- Ron Marz came through with a wonderful collection of comics for young readers, and offered some terrific words of encouragement to me. Later in the year, I hope to have Ron come in to talk to students about writing for comics. Ron is a great guy, and I can't say enough about his positive attitude about our project.
- Don Casey of Paragon Comics, here in Schenectady, contacted me and made an INCREDIBLE donation of about 1500 comics from his stock. Don spent a great deal of time with me, talking about comics and their potential to teach young students. His generosity built more than HALF of our comics collection, and we are SO grateful for his kindness and dedication to our cause.
- Bob Lupe of Aquilonia Comics in Troy, NY also contacted me with an offer of support. He invited me to his shop, and when I got there, he had already hand selected a nice collection of comics for me. He then let me raid his 25¢ bins, and REFUSED TO ACCEPT A PENNY when I tried to pay him for the comics I selected. Bob responded with kindness and enthusiasm and when he heard I was going to start up a comic book club, he extended an invitation to have the club visit his shop, and he would provide all the kids with deep discounts on comics. Bob proved himself to be a generous and concerned neighbor, and a man who understands the potential of comic books to instill a love of reading in children.
- Bob Zaugh of Bongo Comics sent me a box filled with some terrific Simpsons comic books.
- Dark Horse Comics also sent a box of comics.
- I wish I could list all of the people who donated large pieces of their private collections to our school. There were many of them. After reading about our program, a collector from AUSTRALIA sent me a package with a stack of comics inside. That man spent $28 to send them on a long journey to Schenectady, NY.
I have spent the recent weeks pouring over the comics, taking out what was inappropriate for our young students and sending them along to our high school. I had to remove about 800 comics from the collection. The comics I kept were separated into different age levels. Students who receive permission from parents to participate will have access to only the comics we have determined are age appropriate.
At first, we will be simply letting the students borrow comics, take them home, and just read. After a few weeks, we will begin tapping their new found interest in the medium with specially designed lessons and activities, sneaking in English Language Arts teaching without them even knowing it! :)
We will be kicking off Comic Book Month in November, with lots of activities and events. Teachers will spend a half day brainstorming ideas on how to put our comics collection to use in their classrooms.
We are very excited, and again, SO GRATEFUL to all the people and businesses who came through with comic books for us. We are still actively accepting donations, as we expect wear and tear to be high on the comics, and we are certain demand for more material will increase as students fall in love with comic books!