Robeson Community College Celebrates Reading with Jill McCorkle


First Posted: 10/30/2010

On Nov.11, at 10:15 a.m., Robeson Community College will have a grand opening for the Reading Center. Earlier this year, a complete renovation of the librarys second floor included paint, carpet, furniture, pictures, and lamps, which creates an inviting area for reading. The Center will support RCCs five-year Quality Enhancement Plan, RCC 4 R.E.A.L. (Reading Engages Actives Learning) which identifies the primary goal of the initiative: to improve students reading comprehension. Guest author, Jill McCorkle, a Lumberton native, will share her writing, and a book signing in celebration of this exciting occasion.
From a biographical perspective, McCorkle earned a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Master of Fine Arts at Hollins College. Currently, McCorkle is a professor in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at North Carolina State University. She has taught at UNC Chapel Hill, Tufts University and Brandesis. While at Brandesis, she was the Fannie Hurst Visiting Writer. For five years, McCorkle was a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer in Creative Writing at Harvard while serving as the chair of creative writing. At Bennington College, she was one of the original core faculty members of the MFA program and a frequent instructor at the Sewanee Summer Writers.
At the very young age of 26, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill published McCorkles first two novels, The Cheer Leader and July 7th, in 1984, which was an exceptional accomplishment. Three additional novels and four collections of shorts stories have been published. Her most recent work is Going Away Shoes. In the Jan. 30, 2005, edition of the St. Petersburg Times, McCorkle was quoted as saying, I wish I could say it was literature. It was my love for reading that prompted me to write more. I dont think I thought a respectable grown-up could do that, she said. I started taking classes, and I was hooked.
This visit by Jill McCorkle on Nov. 11th demonstrates RCC’s commitment to foster an interest in reading, helping our students develop into more proficient readers. By consistently encouraging literacy growth on campus, we hope to improve literacy in the larger community we serve. This is especially significant for Robeson County, since our illiteracy rate is well above the national average. The Center For Community Action documents that based on the 2000 Census, Robeson Countys present poverty rate is 24 percent and illiteracy rate of 38 percent, which are indicators of low economic and social well being that have persisted for generations.
Reading does engage active learning. It will begin with the grand opening of the RCC Reading Center, and a visit by Jill McCorkle.
Locklear-Hunt is the Director of Learning Resource Services at RCC.

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