Children’s book author Jane Belk Moncure made a visit to campus Tuesday as part of the Summer Learning & Enrichment Academy. Moncure, who earlier this year seeded an early childhood collection for the School of Education with a substantial donation of her books, spent time reading to children enrolled in the enrichment program for students with special classroom needs.
Using puppets and plush animals to complement her stories, Moncure read three books – one from her “Word Bird” series, as well as “A Pocketful of Pets” and “A Dragon in a Wagon” – in the Curriculum Resources Center inside Mooney building.
She later signed copies of “A Dragon in a Wagon” for the students. They each thanked her with a hug.
“A lot of times our culture is moving so fast we tend to overlook the children who take a little longer to absorb knowledge,” Moncure said of her desire to read with the students. “And so often, children with special needs are growing in different time schedules from the average child.”
Laura Williams, director of the Curriculum Resources Center, invited Moncure to campus for the program directed by assistant professor Stephen Byrd. “It’s always a privilege to work with children who, even at a very young age, have big challenges in their lives,” Moncure added.
Elon’s summer academy for special education students started 10 years ago. The program keeps children engaged and occupied in a classroom setting, which minimizes how much they forget from the previous grade over the summer, and it provides master’s students an opportunity to try different strategies and techniques they learn in their program.
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.