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625 7th Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601

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Join us for a giant puppet theatre performance based on children’s illustrator Michaela Goade's award-winning book "We Are Water Protectors.” Featuring remarks by the illustrator followed by school district awards. Free and open to the public. Learn more about the giant puppets and performance in the Hickory Daily Record.

Michaela Goade is a Caldecott Medalist and number one "New York Times" bestselling illustrator of “We are Water Protectors,” and also a 2020 Kirkus Prize Finalist. Other books include the "New York Times" bestselling “I Sang You Down from the Stars,” “Encounter” and “Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy,” winner of the 2018 American Indian Youth Literature Award for Best Picture Book.

Over the last few years, Goade’s work has focused on Indigenous KidLit. She is honored to work with Indigenous authors and tribal organizations in the creation of beautiful and much-needed books. An enrolled member of the Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Goade’s Tlingit name is Sheit.een and she is of the Kiks.ádi Clan (Raven/Frog) from Sheet’ká.

Goade was raised in the rainforest and on the beaches of Southeast Alaska, traditional Lingít Aaní (Tlingit land). Today she lives in Sheet’ká (Sitka), Alaska, a magical island on the edge of a wide, wild sea.

About The Little Read

The Little Read program supports and encourages elementary literacy development by providing meaningful interaction with a nationally recognized children’s author during a spring residency alongside a collaboratively developed multi-disciplinary curriculum for the selected book and grade level. The interaction with the author, hands-on explorations across academic subjects, reflections through writing and art, as well as seeing the book come alive in a play make this literary experience unique and transformative.

Through the generosity of donors to The Little Read program, Lenoir-Rhyne provides free copies of the selected Little Read book to students in collaboration with Hickory City Schools, Catawba County Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools and Alexander County Schools. Additional support comes from the United Arts Council of Catawba County and the North Carolina Arts Council. For some of these elementary school students, this is the first or only book that they have owned. Students and faculty from the Lenoir-Rhyne School of Education collaborate with elementary classroom teachers to develop an engaging curriculum for the book, and the LR Playmakers script and perform a play adapted from the selected book.

Program History

The Little Read began in 2006-2007 school year as a partnership between Ron and Sandra Deal and the Lenoir-Rhyne University Visiting Writer Series to honor the life of Sara Catherine Deal Temple, a local elementary education reading specialist who loved children. That first year, The Little Read reached 4th- and 5th-grade students in the Hickory City Public School System. In the 2007-2008 school year, the Catawba County School System and Newton-Conover City Schools joined. In the 2010-2011 school year the Alexander County School System joined.

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