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LRU hosts 11th annual Little Read event
LRU hosts 11th annual Little Read event

Lenoir-Rhyne University's Visiting Writers Series will present its annual Little Read event, featuring American author and illustrator, Dan Santat, at noon on Saturday, April 1 in P.E. Monroe Auditorium.

Santat is creator of the Disney Channel animated series, The Replacements. He won the 2015 Caldecott Medal for distinguished illustration for his book, The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, and also won a Silver Medal from the Society of Illustrators for Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World), by Mac Barnett. His most recent picture book is titled, The Guild of Geniuses.

As part of the Little Read event, every first grader in the four area school systems - Alexander County, Catawba County, Hickory City Schools, Newton Conover Schools as well as Hickory Day School, participated in reading The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, and had the opportunity to take part in art and literature contests based on the picture book. This year's event will kick off with Santat recognizing the first-place literature winner in each district.

Following the awards ceremony, a book signing will take place on the lawn outside P.E. Monroe from 1 – 2 p.m. At 2 p.m. the LR Playmakers will present a theater production of The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, a whimsical musical based on the book. The musical will be presented under the direction of Josh Yoder, Assistant Professor of Theatre, and will feature a cast of nine LR students. Music and lyrics were written by songwriter, Andrew Massey, of the regional band Sycamore Bones. Massey and bandmate Abigail Taylor will perform as musicians in the production.

All events are free and open to the public.

About The Little Read

The Little Read is an LR Visiting Writers Series' community literacy initiative. It is funded by a grant from the family of Ron and Sandra Deal in memory of their daughter Sara Catherine Deal Temple who loved children and teaching them to read. Long before each Little Read event is held, educators from the participating school systems come together to review and discuss the upcoming book and develop curriculum to aid the students in their studies. LRU hosts a teacher reception which provides educators the opportunity to share how they creatively taught and incorporated the Little Read book theme throughout their classes.

Sponsors of this year's The Little Read event include Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Crowne Plaza-Hickory, Hickory Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Our State: North Carolina, and WFAE 90.3 FM. The event is also sponsored and supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

For more information, contact Lisa Hart, Little Read Program Consultant at Lisa.Hart@lr.edu, or visit lr.edu/littleread.