Disney and Marvel Help Champion Literacy

Spider-Man joins Disney stars and local Boys & Girls Clubs in Burbank, CA, on Saturday, January 12, to kick off the “Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up,” children’s literacy initiative.

Olivia Holt, Drake Bell, Spider-Man, Cole Jensen and Dylan Riley Snyder join kids from local Boys & Girl Clubs of Hollywood, Pasadena, Burbank and San Fernando Valley, California, at the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank, California, on Saturday, January 12 to kick off "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up," an initiative designed to encourage reading (DISNEY XD/RICK ROWELL)

BURBANK, CA --

Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment, First Book and ABC Owned Television Stations have teamed up to champion children's literacy through the "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up" initiative.

A Saturday, January 12, event at the Burbank Public Library will showcase the initiative designed to encourage reading and includes the donation of more than 210,000 books to several communities across the country. The initiative also features a series of Disney XD interstitials, Marvel Comics Close-U p, hosted by Marvel's Chief Creative Officer, Joe Quesada, and teen actor Dylan Riley Snyder (Kickin' It) beginning Monday, January 21, during the second season premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man on Disney XD. Further encouraging kids to read, new and classic Marvel Comics stories will be available at disneyxd.com/comics.

"By tapping in to amazing and relatable Marvel Comics stories, both classic and new, our goal is to inspire kids to become enthusiastic, lifelong readers especially when they discover a great story or engaging book itself is the ultimate reward,” said David Levine, Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide. “We're pleased to have the opportunity to join the caring community of First Book and, with the support of our sister ABC stations, make a book donation to kids across the country."

"Each week, Ultimate Spider-Man encourages viewers to study hard, stay in school and constantly learn more—the same super heroic principles behind Marvel Comics Close-Up," said Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Executive Vice President - Head of Television. "With the second season premiere of Ultimate Spider-Man on January 21, we're kicking off a long term initiative to promote literacy to our fans with the most action packed, exciting, family friendly comics you'll find in this universe or any other."

"We are thrilled to bring the reach and community spirit of our locally owned stations to the literacy efforts of Disney XD and Marvel's Marvel Comics Close-Up,” said Rebecca Campbell, President, ABC Owned Television Stations. “The effort allows our local communities to identify worthwhile organizations to receive the free books, while also highlighting the value and impact literacy has in our society.”

On Saturday, January 12, Disney XD and Disney Channel stars Drake Bell (Ultimate Spider-Man), Dylan Riley Snyder (Kickin' It, Marvel Comics Close-Up), Olivia Holt (Kickin' It), Cole Jensen (Crash & Bernstein) and Karan Brar (Jessie) will take part in "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up" kick-off event at the Burbank Public Library in Burbank, California. The event will feature a donation from Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment and First Book to the Burbank Public Library and Boys & Girls Clubs of Los Angeles, and a special visit from Spider-Man, himself. Disney XD Insider and Radio Disney on-air personality Morgan Tompkinsand the Radio Disney Road Crew will be on hand to provide games, music and entertainment.

Drake Bell and Rylan Daniels (Time for Kids reporter) join kids from local Boys & Girl Clubs of Hollywood, Pasadena, Burbank and San Fernando Valley, California, at the Buena Vista Branch Library in Burbank, California, on Saturday, January 12 to kick off "Reading With: Marvel Comics Close-Up," an initiative designed to encourage reading (DISNEY XD/RICK ROWELL)

ABC Owned Television Stations in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno are participating in the initiative and engaging communities by nominating a local organization, school or library to receive a book donation, part of Disney's donation of 8 million Disney Publishing Worldwide books to First Book announced in 2011. Stations will kick-off their initiatives in January and will invite communities to participate in traditional and virtual book drives, as well as register an eligible organization or school reaching low-income families ages 0-18, to receive an ongoing supply of books from First Book. Visit the ABC Owned Stations' website in these cities for more details (Los Angeles – abc7.com, New York – 7online.com, Chicago abc7chicago.com, Philadelphia – 6abc.com,  San Francisco – abc7news.com, Houston - abc13.com, Raleigh-Durham – abc11.com, Fresno – abc30.com). 

The Marvel Comics Close-Up interstitials dive deep into the Marvel Universe giving viewers an inside look at 10 compelling Marvel comics and will debut Monday, January 21during the special one-hour season two premiere of Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man (7:00 – 8:00 p.m.,  ET/PT) on Disney XD. Free digital Marvel comics will be available on DisneyXD.com/comics and include notable issues such as "Ultimate Spider-Man #7," "Invincible Iron Man #7," "Hulk #3," "Thor #364" and "Marvel Adventures Spider-Man #16."

Source: Disney XD