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Saturday, November 11, 2023 

Cleveland woman tries to encourage reading with superhero fare

News 5 Cleveland reported about a woman in the area who's been distributing comics for reading education. And here's why:
More than half of the people who call Cuyahoga County home cannot read at the highest proficiency levels, according to the Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland.

The group says that staggering number is concerning, not just because people struggle with school or securing jobs, but data shows not being proficient in reading can negatively impact people's health.

Low literacy rates also reportedly cost businesses and taxpayers in the U.S. $20 billion every year.

The literacy rate in Cleveland is even more concerning, with 66% of residents unable to read according to Seeds of Literacy.

In our commitment to follow through on topics that matter to you, News 5 anchor Mike Brookbank checked back in with a Cleveland woman who got a big financial boost to tackle low literacy levels in her community.

Dawn Arrington is constantly on the move.

"People know me as the crazy comic book lady," said Arrington.

She stops by popular locations in her Buckeye neighborhood to drop off free comic books as part of her Comics at the Corner campaign.

"This isn't my full-time job, but it is definitely my full-time passion," said Arrington.

A passion that runs deep.

"I love comic books. I learned how to read reading the funnies on Sunday morning," said Arrington.
Illiteracy is definitely a serious problem, and I've got a sad feeling that, with the way the USA's been going lately, there's no telling if the problem will be solved so easily. But what kind of comics does the lady provide for reading?
She is intentional about the comics she selects.

"About 90-95% of the comics that we receive generally have people of color on the covers or are featured very prominently in the storyline,"
said Arrington.
Honestly, how does this guarantee the comics she's distributing will be any good, even in terms of education? Or, how do we know these aren't politically motivated comics in focus? In fairness, I did notice an earlier report where it appears Luke Cage, Power Man, was one of the comics she's distributing, and that's something I'd recommend too, as the proud owner of a copy of a Marvel Epic Collection gathering the original stories. Even so, it makes no sense to base the bulk of what's offered almost entirely upon whether the protagonists are POC, when Spider-Man's stories from decades past are another item I'd want to encourage reading, to name but one example where the main stars are white. She may have some of those in supply, but if the vast majority of her supplies are based more on a PC approach, it makes her MO absurd. And what if the comics in store are modern items laced with wokeness?

Mrs. Arrington's mission itself is a good one. But it shouldn't be based on something like identity politics. All that risks is having people miss out on a lot more wonderful products from decades gone by.

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back when I last read the New Avengers Luke was a woke scold, pre BLM. Bendis wrote it such as it was obvious everyone who wasn't a lefty was a racist closet klansman and those in his neighborhood were mostly victims. Hopefully it's gotten better.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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