LRU News

Best Selling Children’s Author Meets with Local Educators to Prepare Curriculum

Tue Sep 25 2012

HICKORY, N.C. — Every spring, the Lenoir-Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series, in conjunction with local school districts, welcomes a children’s novelist to campus for “The Little Read.” Long before that event is held, educators come together to review and discuss the upcoming book and develop curriculum to aid the students in their studies.

On Saturday, April 13, 2013 Little Read author Cynthia Lord will be welcomed to campus to discuss her book Rules. Earlier this month, Lord was in Hickory to speak with LRU Education majors and area 5th grade school teachers about her life as a writer and her award-winning book. These students and teachers will work together throughout the fall semester to develop curricular materials for educators teaching Rules.  

“This was a fabulous opportunity for the teachers and students to ask Lord questions that will shape the teaching guides and provide a rare insight into the thoughts and feelings of the author,” commented Dr. Rand Brandes, Lenoir-Rhyne professor and L-R Visiting Writers Series Director.

The curricular materials will include information available nowhere else and will apply directly to all of the 5th grade students in Catawba and Alexander Counties.  All participating students will receive their own copy of the book to keep thanks to the support of The Little Read sponsors and the local school systems.

The Little Read is an elementary education community-wide reading initiative of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Visiting Writers Series. Initially implemented during the 2006-07 school year, The Little Read is designed to provide quality literature for classroom use. The program also gives parents and community members meaningful ways to be involved in the educational process. By providing interaction with a nationally recognized children’s author, The Little Read supports and encourages literacy development.

Each year The Little Read Advisory Board, in consultation with Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools, Hickory Public Schools and Alexander County Schools, identifies which grade the project will focus on for that year and which book will be used. Lord’s book Rules will be discussed with area 5th graders. After spending time throughout the school year reading and understanding the book, the students come together for The Little Read event in the spring.

Dr. Brandes says, “It is the most important elementary school literacy project in Catawba County and Alexander County not organized by the systems themselves.” According to Brandes, the Series coordinates the program and is responsible for funding. He has been a part of the program since its beginning.

For more information on “The Little Read” and the Visiting Writers Series, go to or or contact Dr. Rand Brandes at Additional information on author Cynthia Lord can be found at

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