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North Carolina author wows Weddington Elementary students

Libby Bagby, a North Carolina author, delights students at Weddington Elementary School, with the tale of Lucky the Plott hound, a story that has evolved into an award-winning book titled “Lucky’s Plott.”

 Fourth graders at Weddington Elementary School learned why a Plott hound is important to North Carolinians through the eyes of a local author whose book tells the story of a puppy named Lucky.

Libby Bagby, a North Carolina author, delighted students at Weddington Elementary School Friday (Oct. 4, 2013) with the story of Lucky the Plott hound, a story that has evolved into an award-winning book that she has written called “Lucky’s Plott.”

It all began in 2002 when she spotted a young dog lying on the side of the road after it had been hit by a car. The puppy was injured badly, with two broken hind legs and some other internal injuries, but with good medical care, he recovered fully.

Libby decided to adopt the young dog and named him Low Gap Lucky — Low Gap for where she found him and Lucky because he survived after lying injured on the side of the road for at least two days.

A retired teacher, Libby was intrigued when she later learned that Lucky’s breed is the state dog of North Carolina, a choice state legislators made in 1989. That fact is not well known by many North Carolina residents, but Libby plans to change that.

She has taken Lucky to schools and libraries across the state to share their story and educate children about this resilient animal and its place in the state’s history. She has told the story of Lucky in schools in 43 North Carolina counties, before more than 17,000 students.

Weddington Elementary media specialist Colleen Salter invited Libby to Union County to talk about her book (which chronicles Lucky’s journey) as the story fits into the curriculum for fourth-grade students who study North Carolina.

After talking to students about that fateful day when she found her beloved Lucky, Libby explained to students that a Plott hound is the only breed known to have originated in North Carolina. “It was named in honor of Jonathon Plott, a German immigrant,” she said.

Jonathon Plott was only 16 years old when his family came to America in 1750 with five dogs. The family settled in New Bern, North Carolina and then moved to Cabarrus County. He married, bought a farm, and began raising his children and his hunting dogs.

The approximately 150 fourth graders at Weddington Elementary seemed enthralled by the story of Lucky and this very special breed of dog. The students had already read Libby’s book prior to her visit and seemed excited to find out more about this breed of dog known internationally for being an excellent hunting dog.

Weddington Elementary School principal Jessica Blanchard said when authors come to talk to students about their books, it makes the book come alive. “It makes it real,” she said. “They’re not just studying from a book. It puts a face and a name and it makes it tangible for them.”

Even though Lucky passed away this past summer, Libby continues to educate North Carolina children about the Plott hound, the very special state dog. For more information about Lucky the Plott Hound, visit his web site.

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, UCPS Communications Coordinator
Posted: Oct 15, 2013 by Benjamin Shealy

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