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Donald Duck teaches Norwegian students to read

The comics starring the fiery Donald Duck, the penny-pinching Scrooge and the three nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie are helping young Norwegian school students appreciate the joy of reading, a research project shows.

Egmont Publishing in Norway is behind a research project with aim of boosting children's reading pleasure. The idea is to involve the colourful comics in the education as a supplement to heavy school books. 600 students took part in the project, which found that comics have a positive effect on the pupils' love of reading.

Boys in particular are having a hard time finding the joy of reading when they open a book filled with words. On the other hand, the fun, colourful pictures, the exciting adventures and the small text boxes of the comic make the students excited. Bente Skogsrud, Marketing Manager in Donald Duck & Co., Norway is thrilled about the project's warm reception in the schools.

"The feedback has been positive. The young students have been very positive, and when I was on a school tour, it was a great experience to see the students' involvement and all Donald Duck did for them. There are parents as well who have come to me with positive feedback," says Bente Skogsrud to TV 2 in the show "Good Morning, Norway".

The Donald Duck-project has achieved great success in Sweden, where the concept has expanded to a national level. The Swedish project in is called "Comics in Teaching" and has a website (http://serieriundervisningen.se) where teachers can download teaching guides and comics material. Project Manager at Egmont Publishing, Jonas Lidheimer in Sweden is happy about the project:

"We are really excited about this project and have high ambitions. Hopefully this long-term investment can lead to increased reading of comics in Sweden. But we're also doing this to support a good cause. We are convinced that the act of using Donald Duck and comics as a pedagogical tool has a huge potential to improve the reading skills amongst thousands of school children," says Jonas Lidheimer.