In Gear | Rotary in Southern New Zealand In Gear - Issue 3 - Page 31

KAPOW! SHAZAM! HOLY POPPING PAGES, BATMAN! Just what are the great folk at Invercargill Next Rotary Generation up to now? often appeal to readers who find other material too challenging or uninteresting. They’re throwing their efforts behind boosting young southerners’ literacy by joining legions of literary-loving superheroes from around the globe to stage Free Comic Book Day. “Comics can help readers develop their skills so they can comprehend more difficult texts. They can also boost readers’ ability to learn information and engage in subjects they might otherwise find dull – like history and science.” Invercargill NRG president Leon Hartnett says his team has joined forces with the Invercargill Public Library to bring the initiative, which is staged around the globe on May 6 – the first Saturday in the month – to District 9980. Sponsored by Invercargill firm Mee and Henry Law, Free Comic Day kicks off at 10am at the Invercargill Public Library, and NRG is encouraging families to make a day of it. Internationally, around 6 million comics are gifted each year through Free Comic Book Day. “Why? Because reading is so important,” Leon says. “Basically, Free Comic Book Day is an awesome opportunity to promote reading for pleasure and encourage readers to use their local library.” While researching the initiative, Leon and the NRG team discovered, for many reluctant young readers, comics and graphic novels provide a much-needed, and fun, pathway to reading. “Lots of people, particularly early readers who are struggling to improve their skills, can benefit from the visual format comics offer.” Studies, he says, show the picture-driven books Everyone who attends will be gifted a free comic book – but those who put in a little extra effort can boost their collection even further, Leon says. “Come dressed as your favourite book character or bring a tin of food for the Invercargill Food Bank, and you’ll receive another comic completely free.” And, the subject matter doesn’t stop at superheroes, he says. The team’s carefully sourced a collection of graphic novels and comics covering an eclectic array of fiction and non-fiction topics – everything from zombies and war, to ethics and history. Free Comic Day Where: Invercargill Public Library When: May 6 Time: 10am – 3pm Dress up as your favourite character, and bring the whole family! “It’s set to be a very colourful event – as well as gifting piles of free comics, we’ve planned loads of entertaining activities and competitions, so it’s going to be lots of fun for the whole family,” Leon says. Page 31