Gift boosts early childhood collection in School of Education

Children’s book author Jane Belk Moncure is seeding an early childhood collection for the School of Education at Elon University with a substantial donation of her popular books for preschoolers, which will be housed in the Curriculum Resources Center to support a future degree program in early childhood education.

Laura Williams (left), director of the Curriculum Resources Center, with author Jane Belk Moncure.

Included are titles from Moncure’s best-known series of concept books – “Sound Box,” “Word Bird” and “Magic Castle Readers.” For the longtime writer and educator who penned her first story in kindergarten, making the gift was an extension of her life’s work.

“I was so thrilled when I heard Elon was going to focus on the early childhood years,” Moncure said. “I wanted the curriculum lab to have as many of my books as possible.”

Moncure is the widow of James Moncure, who served as Elon’s vice president of academics and student affairs from 1974-1982. James Moncure received the prestigious Elon Medallion in 2005 and was one of the administrators instrumental in establishing the first learning resource center on campus.

Their son, James A. Moncure II, works for IBM, and currently serves on the Board of Advisors in the Martha and Spencer Love School of Business.

Jane Belk Moncure’s writing was inspired by her 35 years of teaching young children. Her books have been translated into languages ranging from Spanish to Chinese, and she has earned multiple awards, including the C.S. Lewis Award and the Scholastic Teacher’s Choice Award.

“I’m an ordinary teacher but I had a passionate love for helping children grow and learn,” Moncure said. “That was my greatest job in life, and writing was part of it.”

Moncure today lives in Burlington, N.C., near the Elon campus.

“We are very grateful to Mrs. Moncure for this incredibly generous gift,” said Laura Williams, director of the Curriculum Resources Center. “Her books are charming, instructive, and in mint condition. They will form the cornerstone of a special collection in the CRC for the new early-childhood degree program.”

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