Carol S. Avery, 77

August 15, 1943 - October 09, 2020

Carol S. Avery, 77, an early childhood literacy educator, died Friday, Oct. 9 at Oak Leaf Manor in Millersville where she had been a resident since June. Carol was the daughter of the late Arthur and Mary (Safstrom) Schlesing and the wife of Carole L. Beech of Lancaster.

Carol was employed by Manheim Township School district for 18 years, initially as a children’s librarian and for many years a first grade teacher at Schaeffer and Neff elementary Schools. She believed that children could best learn to read by writing their own stories rather than using a prescribed program with workbooks. The use of children’s literature was integral to her teaching.

She shared her classrooms methods in a well regarded book for teachers, entitled “And With a Light Touch: Learning about Reading, Writing and Teaching with First Graders. “ This book was followed in 2000 by a revised second edition. She also authored many journal articles and textbook chapters. Carol was repeatedly asked to share her methods at teacher in-service programs; she left the classroom and spent two decades as a full-time educational consultant, working with teachers in 48 of the 50 states.

Carol served as president of the National Council of Teachers in English in 1997. Later she served for three years as chair of the NCTE Orbus Pictus Award which recognized authors and illustrators of non-fiction children’s books.

Carol held both a library science bachelor degree and a master’s degree in elementary education from Millersville University. She also earned a master of education degree from Northeastern University. In the late 1980s, she taught in the summer reading and writing program for teachers at the University of New Hampshire. She was a 1961 graduate of Williamsport, PA High School.

Carol spent her early childhood in Waterville, Maine, and always looked fondly on all aspects of the State. She has owned property in Maine since 1993 and currently has a cottage in Little Deer Isle Maine where she spent six months seasonally from 2007 to 2019. She tended both flower and vegetable gardens at the property and requested that her ashes be spread there.

In addition to her spouse, Carol is survived by two sons: Timothy O. Avery (Julie) of Woodbridge, CA and Nathan S. Avery (Jennifer) of Millersville, Pa. Also, her sister, Linda Banks Hansee (Allan) of Davenport. Fl and nephews Andrew and Brian Banks and niece Mellisa Banks.

Carol has three grandchildren: Kinsee Avery Coughenour (Colin), Adessa Denise Avery and William Rhett Avery. Her first great-grandchild, Cassius Coughenour was born in June. She also leaves behind a loving in-law family: Bruce, Kathy and Steven Rhoads, and Jamie and Ryker Cathcart. Carol was predeceased by her parents and her brother Stephen Arthur Schlesing of Williamsport.

Friends are invited to the Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory, 441 N. George St, Millersville, PA 17551 on Thursday, Oct. 15, at 2:30 p.m. for a family visitation time, followed by Sharing and Celebrating Carol Avery at 3 p.m. Social distancing will be in effect and masks are required. Please omit flowers. A gift in memory of Carol may be sent to NCTE Fund/children’s literacy. 340 N. Neil Street, Champaign, Il 61820.

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Condolences to the Family

October 15, 2020

I was so glad to be able to see and hear this today. The COVID spread here kept me away and it was wonderful to hear everyone speak today. I loved it all so much. Thank you Jennifer for reading my Mom’s words for her. When I was a young man I wanted to be a writer. I’ll never forget how encouraging my Aunt Carol was to me in my pursuit of writing. She encouraged me to read and write always, in any form, and be free with my expression. She was proud of me when I won a writing award in middle school. She was always kind and loving to me. I am told that when my brother and I were crying as babies, you could hand us to either Mom or Carol and we’d stop crying. I felt comfort from her then that continues on. I love you all and hope we can gather after the pandemic.
Andrew Banks

October 15, 2020

Thank you for being there for Carol and sharing with her the best life that you two created together.  
Much love,

October 13, 2020

Dear Carole,
We were so sorry to hear of the passing of Carol.  I remember her well, not only for the work she did in education but for her personhood, a very kind and unassuming presence who was on a mission to serve others–a really fine individual whose life was well-lived. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make the service because of the COVID-19 epidemic, but our thoughts and prayers will be with you and the family. 
Be well.
Carl and Pat Kanaskie 

October 11, 2020

Our deepest sympathy on the death of Carol.
You are in our thoughts and prayers, Carole.
Steve, Pat and Melissa Crognale and staff

Thursday, October 15, 2020
2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
441 North George Street
Millersville, PA 17551
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Thursday, October 15, 2020
3:00 PM
Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory
441 North George Street
Millersville, PA 17551
Map and Directions

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