Nonprofit Spotlight: Bat City Comic Professionals

In this week's nonprofit spotlight, we were thrilled to chat with Bat City Comic Professionals to learn more about their mission and how we can help. Here's what they had to say.

Can you tell us a little bit about your mission and how you help to support our community?

Bat City Comic Professionals is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit organization building the next generation of superheroes. We help students improve their reading and writing skills through comics education. We create workshops, curriculum, and resources for in-house learning opportunities as well as schools and libraries across the country.

Bat City funds its non-profit goals by operating a brick-and-mortar comic bookstore in Bradenton, FL – located at 915 Manatee Ave. E. We offer new, vintage, and collectible comics, weekly comic subscriptions, specialty kids’ programming, and comic preservation services. Every purchase made in-store helps us to create more opportunities for our community.

Who do you serve and why?

We create programs for students in elementary through high school, college, libraries, and kids of all ages in our community.

Studies have shown that comic books are not only one of the most popular forms of literature amongst young readers, but that they also are helpful tools for English Language Learners, Dyslexic readers, reluctant readers, and more. In fact, comics have been proven to teach more new words per text than novels written for adults and college textbooks.

In our personal experience, we have seen students become more avid and independent readers, as well as stronger writers through our comic book programming!

Can you describe a few of your key programs?

We have lots of exciting programs going on right now! Here’s a look a a few…

Writing workshops – Our writing workshops take age-appropriate writing elements and apply them to the creation of comic books. Each participant has the chance to create their own story, working on character development, plot, and ending devices. By the end of the workshop, participants will develop their own one-page comic… or more! We offer dozens of in-house workshops as well as partnering with schools, libraries, conventions, and local organizations to get students of all ages using their imaginations!

Educator seminars – Our educator seminars help teachers and librarians learn beneficial ways to use comics in their classrooms and libraries as a way to reach their students in new ways. They also learn key terminology and processes related to the comic industry. Participating teachers receive a resource guide to keep handy and share with administrators or parents who may have questions. We also create curriculum and additional resources for teachers to use in the classroom for specific lessons and themes.

Reading programs – Our reading programs help inspire readers of all ages to dive into reading and develop not only their love for literacy but the necessary skills to expand their vocabulary, their techniques, and their imaginations. Readers in our Story Spelunkers program earn rewards for books they read and get special benefits and opportunities just for joining the club!

Book donation – We donate new graphic novels and single-issue comic books to school classrooms and libraries to help educators have the resources they need. In 2021, we donated over $10,000 in brand new graphic novels to schools across the country, helping teachers and librarians put books into their students’ hands.

What’s the best way our community can help?

There are several ways the community can help!

Most of the funding for our non-profit missions comes from people shopping in our brick-and-mortar store. We use the proceeds from the sale of new, vintage, and graded comic books and toys to help create all of our programs and donate books back to the community.

The community is also welcome to come into the store and ask for age-appropriate books that they can purchase to be included directly in our donations for area schools.

We also accept donations of comic collections throughout the year to add to our stock in-store and for donations. If you, or someone you know, is looking to get rid of your collection, give us a call at 941-714-0402 or email Matt at contact@batcity.org.

Volunteer opportunities are also vailable. We are hoping to have them up and running again soon, so keep an eye on our social media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, or our website for information about how you can get involved.

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