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 Graphic Novel Book Club for Educators Takes Off

​What do you get when you cross curriculum and instruction experts with an internationally known space for comic book aficionados?

The outcome is beyond what anyone expected. A mutation. An evolution. A Comic-Con Graphic Novel Book Club...comic con membership card imagefor educators.

Comic-Con graphic novel book clubs have been around for a few years, but it wasn't until a group of San Diego County Office of Education colleagues connected with the new Comic-Con Museum that the idea for an educators club was born. 

Jewyl Clarke, Innovation, spearheaded the effort in collaboration with San Diego Comic-Con International and the Comic-Con Museum. The goal is to create a space where San Diego County educators can expand their ability to teach using comic books and graphic novels. 

The educator book club first met in January with more than 30 people ready to submit their suggestions for the club's first book. 

"It's been really exciting to see people's enthusiasm for the project, from SDCOE employees to other educators to outside partners," said Clarke. 

Shortly after the first meeting, club members began sharing resources on their first book March: Book One, a graphic novel by Congressman John Lewis.

Jonathan Hunt, Library Media Services, Cherissa Kreider-Beck, English Language Arts, Pauline Crooks, Visual and Performing Arts, and Clarke are at the club meetings to help apply state standards, language learning, or student engagement methods to the comic book or graphic novel. 

"This group is really about shifting mindsets around to realize that any reading is good reading, and empower teachers to not feel limited," Clarke explained. 

The book club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at the SDCOE main campus. Clarke said the next step will be to create regional educator book clubs so more teachers can attend.

The members of the graphic novel book clubs choose their books and then whoever suggested the book facilitates the conversation. Each club also has a private Facebook group for discussions and sharing resources. 

The new educators book club follows the same procedures, but it includes SDCOE curriculum and instruction experts to provide guidance on research-based best practices regarding literacy and learning.