Culturally Relevant Read-Alouds - Featuring Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul
back to all events
Culturally Relevant Read-Alouds - Featuring Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul
Presented by: Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul
Located at: Online
About the Session

Target Audience: K-6 teachers, educational assistants and administrators are encouraged to attend.

During this workshop, educators will develop a keen understanding of culturally relevant teaching as an instructional stance, rather than a list of practices. Recently, there has been important conversations around books and classroom libraries that reflect the racial and cultural identities of BIPOC students. However, representation alone is insufficient. Multicultural educator Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop says that books can serve as mirrors and windows for children. Educators will examine the research about children’s literature that demonstrates the continued challenges BIPOC children experience locating books that can serve as mirrors. Then, educators will utilize the tenets of culturally relevant pedagogy and lean into two powerful lenses to select, evaluate, and teach with #ownvoices books. After participating in demonstrations of culturally relevant read alouds, educators will be provided with strategies that they’ll apply as they develop their own transformational read aloud instruction for students that both affirms and raises awareness.

About the Presenter(s)

Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul

is the founder of Red Clay Educators. Her research and work stem from an unyielding commitment to anti-bias and antiracist pedagogy and practices. Sonja leads professional development with educators around the world spotlighting the relationship between teaching, literacy, and equity. She supports educators in developing the capacity and will to continually examine themselves and to critically inquire into their own practices.

In the world of professional development, Sonja is unique. As a former middle school classroom teacher for twenty-years, she recognizes the common and local challenges that educators face. She also understands kids, specifically, how to use asset-based pedagogies that honor their identities and support their individual needs. Further, Sonja knows what it takes to forge relationships with caregivers and communities in order to cultivate trusting learning environments where all students thrive. Sonja’s expertise is in using her scholarship to develop curricula that advances the work of antiracism in all aspects of schooling. She spotlights and centers issues related to race and racism, providing faculty and staff with the language and tools to facilitate transformational conversations and instruction with students about race.

Sonja leads professional development for classroom teachers, coaches, and administrators and guides the development of culturally responsive and antiracist teaching and curriculum for elementary, middle, and high school students. She is the host of The Black Creators Series, a collaboration with Candlewick Press, where she leads educator-focused discussions and highlights the powerful ways the work of Black authors and illustrators can live in classrooms. Sonja is the co-founder of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy, an annual institute that provides professional development that supports educators around the globe in using their power and position to transform systems including individual classrooms, districts, and communities. Sonja has been the Director of Diversity and Equity at the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. And as Senior Advisor of the Heinemann Fellows, Sonja supported an accomplished group of educators as they engaged in individual action research that addressed pressing issues and challenges in the field of education.

Sonja has adapted the #1 New York Times Best Seller Stamped (For Kids), published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, which has earned starred reviews by Kirkus and School Library Journal, and was selected as one of the best nonfiction/informational books of 2021 by Parents Magazine, School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, and the Chicago Public Library. Stamped (For Kids) was selected by the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) as a 2022 Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. She is the co-author of four books published by Heinemann: Teaching Interpretation: Using Text-Based Evidence to Construct Meaning (2014), Flip Your Writing Workshop: A Blended Learning Approach (2016), Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers (2019) and Critical Literacy: Unlocking Contemporary Fiction (2020).

Sonja is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at national and international conferences.

Fee: $40.00

Registration Notes:

This session will NOT be recorded.

Session times are Mountain Time.

Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul