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The Little Read is a literacy program funded by a generous grant from the family of Ron and Sandra Deal in memory of their daughter Sara Catherine Deal Temple who loved children and loved teaching them to read. The Little Read grew out of, in part, the community’s positive response to The BIG Read—Catawba County’s community-wide reading initiative for adults.

The BIG Read was initiated and first led by Lenoir-Rhyne University and involved three additional partners:  Catawba County Library System, Catawba Valley Community College, and the Hickory Public Library.   The BIG Read is a separate entity and is not part of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series.

Consequently, The Little Read differs from The BIG Read in both its focus (elementary children) and its administration (Lenoir-Rhyne University). In addition, The Little Read will begin by focusing on the Hickory Public School system and will include local private schools within the city limits.  In years two and three, it hopes to include elementary schools in the county’s other two school systems—Newton-Conover Schools and Catawba County Schools.  The Little Read will pursue other working relationships with local libraries, literacy groups, and parents’ organizations.

Central to The Little Read is the involvement of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s School of Education.  Lenoir-Rhyne’s Education faculty and students will serve as mentors to the program.  In addition to providing valuable current data and theoretical perspectives for The Little Read, we will look to them for guidance and support along the way.

The Little Read