Viz, LLC, has announced that it has become the first major graphic novel publisher to partner with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to help promote the love of reading and literacy among school children.
Viz properties such as Yu-Gi-Oh! and Dragonball Z, along with Shonen Jump magazines, will be made available through RIF's national network of schools and clubs to children beginning this summer and continuing in the fall.
Properties from Viz will also be included in the Jump to Japan:  Discovering Culture Through Popular Art exhibit, which will tour children's museums in more than seventy U.S. cities over the next four years.  Video images and content from Pokemon and Hamtaro, along with panels from Shonen Jump, will be part of the show.
The first exhibit just wrapped up its first showing in Seattle, and is now moving on according to the following schedule:  



July 2004 - September 2004

Felix Adler Children's Museum

Clinton, Iowa


November 2004 - January 2005


Albuquerque, New Mexico


March 2005 - May 2005

The Children's Museum

Memphis, Tennessee


July 2005 - September 2005

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Columbus, Ohio


November 2005 - January 2006

Minnesota Children's Museum

St. Paul, Minnesota



St. Paul, Minnesota


June 2006 - August 2006

DuPage Children's Museum

Dupage, Illinois


October 2006 - December 2006


Toledo, Ohio


February 2007 - April 2007

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


June 2007 - August 2007

Buell Children's Museum

Pueblo, Colorado


October 2007 - December 2007

Treehouse Children's Museum

Salt Lake City, Utah


February 2008 - April 2008

San Antonio Children's Museum

San Antonio, Texas


The involvement by Viz in both of these high profile events, coming hot on the heels of its inclusion in USA Today's Life feature this week (see 'USA Today Discovers Manga') will certainly create new readers of manga and new anime viewers, which will benefit pop culture retailers for years to come.