The New York Times
Comics-based literacy programs have spread since their creation six years ago by graduate students at Columbia University. The programs are used in an estimated 860 U.S. schools, including several that are participating in a promising pilot program run by the Maryland Department of Education. Proponents say comic books hold children’s attention better than text-only books, which sometimes overwhelm children. Skeptics see the focus on comic books as a relaxation in the integrity of reading curricula. Dec. 26, www.nytimes.com.