Show your support



Get involved!


Join our Mailing List

Stay informed!


Connie Elder

Connie Elder has spent 29 years working for the Carmi-White County School District in a variety of roles, During that same time, she has also been privileged to serve on governing boards and fundraising committees for various worthy causes with a special focus on literacy owing to her lengthy tenure as a middle school librarian.
Connie was a founding Board member of  Friends of the Carmi Public Library, serving as President for 7 consecutive years and remaining an active member to this day. After serving several years on the Board of Directors of the Shawnee Library System  (a large regional library system within the IL State Library), Connie was eventually elected President there as well. In that role, she was responsible for approving multi-million dollar budgets, maintaining physical assets, managing relationships with employees and union reps as well as overseeing the merger of the Shawnee system with two neighboring library systems. She also continues to serve as a judge for the annual “Illinois Letters for Literature” contest for the Illinois State Library.

Katharine Kan

Katharine Kan

Kat Kan has been reading comics for more than 50 years (she started VERY young!), and has been working with comics in libraries since 1983. She’s worked in public libraries in Hawaii and Indiana, and currently works (from home in Florida) for Brodart Books & Library Services as the Collection Development Librarian/Graphic Novel Specialist and as a part-time school librarian for St. John Catholic School in Panama City, Florida. She has been writing the “Graphically Speaking” column for Voice of Youth Advocates since 1994, and she reviews children’s graphic novels for Booklist, the review journal for the American Library Association. She’s also the wife of a Lutheran pastor, mother of two comics-reading sons, and grandmother to a boy who is doomed to read comics.

Professor David Rapp

David Rapp

David N. Rapp is Professor at Northwestern University in the Learning Sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy, and in Cognitive Psychology in the Department of Psychology.  His research focuses on the cognitive mechanisms underlying successful and unsuccessful learning.  This work investigates the ways in which prior knowledge, unfolding text and spatial experiences, and learner goals interactively influence the processes and products of comprehension.  Recent projects funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institute of Aging examine how visualizations can support STEM learning.  He is associate editor at the Journal of Educational Psychology and Discourse Processes.

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson is the Editor-in-Geek of The Graphic Classroom, a nationally eMINTS certified instructor, a K-6 computer science instructor and a national speaker on comics. He is certified to teach both early childhood (birth to grade 3) and elementary (grades 1-6).

Wilson’s work in comics-in-education has been published in several literacy textbooks including: Teaching New Literacies in Grades K-3: Resources for 21st Century StudentsTeaching New Literacies in Grades 4-6: Resources for 21st Century Students, as well as Rationales for Teaching Graphic Novels. Wilson also co-sponsors the Hall of Heroes comic book club at his school.

Wilson donned his RWP cape in December 2011 and is the Educator Liaison.

Jeff Barbanell, M.Ed.

Jeff Barbanell, M.Ed., CLU, CLTC, LUTCF brings his professional working advisory board, business, and academic experience to CAPE (Comics Association of Professionals and Educators) and RWP (Reading with Pictures). A regular presenter  at New York Comic Con, WonderCon and San Diego Comic-Con International, he continues to refine his work on “Comics as a Transitional Medium to Teach English Language Learners” to develop a range of lesson plans addressing content areas that integrate sequential art. Jeff also contributed “Shooter’s Marvelesque” to Teenagers from the Future: Essays on the Legion of Super-Heroes published by Sequart Literacy & Research Organization. In pursuit of his Masters for Arizona State University, Jeff was embedded with 2nd – 8th grade students and student teachers in Osborn and Scottsdale school districts where he demonstrated the value of comics in the field. James Barbanell (a well-respected sports writer for Newsday) told Jeff he received comps from Marvel & DC from his friend, Al Plastino, which were passed on to Jeff, sparking this life-long interest.

David Culter

David Cutler attended Brandeis University, where he went on to earn a masters in history. He taught history and journalism for six years at Palmer Trinity School in Miami, Florida, before returning to teach at his alma mater. David also serves as a Teacher of the Future for the National Association of Independent Schools, as well as writes education stories for The Atlantic and Edutopia. David is also passionate about promoting the use of comics in the classroom to enhance learning. He blogs at

Kerry Freedman

Kerry Freedman is Professor of Art and Education at Northern Illinois University and Coordinator of Doctoral Programs in Art Education.  She is past Head of the Art + Design Education Division.  Professor Freedman’s research focuses on questions concerning the relationship of curriculum to art, culture, and technology.  Recently, she has particularly focused on inquiries into student engagement with visual culture, creativity, and community.

Dr. Freedman is author of the book Teaching Visual Culture.  She co-authored the books Postmodern Art Education: An Approach to Curriculum and Transforming Computer Technology.  She edited the book Looking Back and co-edited the book Curriculum, Culture, and Art Education, which is made up of cultural histories of art education from different countries.  She has published over 100 articles and book chapters and her work has been translated into multiple languages.  She has done over 200 national and international presentations and has been a Visiting Professor and Fulbright Scholar at several overseas universities.

Professor Freedman has provided significant leadership through various service roles.  She is a past Senior Editor of Studies in Art Education, the research journal of the US National Art Education Association and a World Councilor of the International Society for Education through Art, a UNESCO affiliate.  Dr. Freedman has won numerous grants and awards.  She is a past National Higher Art Educator of the Year and won the Australian Leon Jackman Award for distinguished research in art education.  Dr. Freedman is also honored to be a Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association, and in 2012, won the Manual Barkan Memorial Award for excellence in publication.  In 2014, she was named Higher Educator of the Year by the Illinois Art Education Association.