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Disney XD, Marvel, & First Book Team Up for Children's Literacy Initiative MARVEL COMICS CLOSE-UP

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Related: Disney XD, Marvel Entertainment, First Book

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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, it was announced today by David Levine, Vice President and General Manager, Disney XD Worldwide, and Jeph Loeb, Marvel's Executive Vice President - Head of Television. 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-Up," 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.

Levine said, "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. 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 Loeb. "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.' 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," said Rebecca Campbell, President, ABC Owned Television Stations.

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 Tompkins and the Radio Disney Road Crew will be on hand to provide games, music and entertainment.

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.

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 21 during 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."

Disney XD is a basic cable channel and multi-platform brand showcasing a compelling mix of live-action and animated programming for Kids age 6-14, hyper-targeting boys and their quest for discovery, accomplishment, sports, adventure and humor. Disney XD branded content spans television, online, mobile and VOD platforms. The programming includes series, movies and short-form, as well as sports-themed programming developed with ESPN. In the U.S., Disney XD is seen on a 24-hour, advertiser supported network that reaches over 78 million households via its basic cable and satellite affiliates. For more information, visit http://www.DisneyXD.com/.

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information, visit http://www.marvel.com/.

First Book has distributed more than 100 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information, visit http://www.firstbook.org/ or follow First Book's latest news on Facebook and Twitter.


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