Culturally Meaningful Books for ELs

Professional Development


In this fully online course, participants will learn about how to use content that resonates with immigrant and refugee students, both in ESL and General Education classrooms, in order to strengthen the participation and confidence of English Learners (ELs) in academic learning. Participants will become familiar with many wonderful picture books (which may be used at a wide range of grade levels) which are accessible for ELs and reflect the cultures of all of our students and families. With these books at the center of the curriculum, participants will learn about strategies and activities that help students build their English language skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and give them access to the Common Core curriculum for their grade level. 

The course includes 6 hours per day of a mix of synchronous Zoom sessions, readings, video viewing, participation in a discussion board, and assessments. There is an additional 3-hour final project. The final project (required for participants to receive 15 PDPs) will be due 2 weeks after the final class session.

Audience and Grade Level

Teachers and Paraprofessionals; Grades K-12. The course can also be adapted for those such as counselors, speech pathologists, or specialists who work with students outside of the classroom.


15 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of this training, in addition to outside reading and assignments (as per DESE regulations). Participants will be required to complete an out-of-class assessment project, in which they will select a book that is relevant and accessible for their EL students (real or imagined) and create an original lesson plan based on the concepts explored in the course. 

Note that these PDPs will satisfy the ELL-related requirement for recertification.

Date and Location

This training is fully onlineand consists of two 6-hour sessions as well as an out-of-class project:

  • July 12, 2021, 9:00am - 3:30pm
  • July 14, 2021, 9:00am - 3:30pm

Cost and Registration

The cost of the workshop is $365 for member districts and $395 for non-member districts. 

Registration Deadline: July 5


  • Photo of Alice Levine

    Ms. Levine, M.Ed., is a consultant to programs interested in strengthening their engagement of families. For 25 years, she has taught math and literacy to adult learners, helped parents build their capacity to support children’s learning, developed new programs, and provided staff training.

For more information, contact:
Events Coordinator
413.586.4900 x5981


A maximum class size is set for each course and registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. If the number of registrations for a course exceeds the maximum seats available or is too low to be able to conduct a quality learning experience, CES will inform you of available options.

Course Cancellation

If you wish to cancel your registration, please submit a request in writing (via mail, email or fax) no later than 7 business days before the workshop’s start date. After that, there are no refunds or billing adjustments.

In the event that a course is cancelled by the Collaborative for Educational Services, we will notify you as soon as possible. Please be sure to provide your best email address and phone number so we can contact you. Although every effort is made to avoid last minute cancellations, if an emergency arises, we will do our best to reach you at the phone number and email address you provide. 

Inclement Weather

Any delays or cancellations are posted online at You may also call 413.588.5979 after 6:30am for information about classes that day. Or for Early Childhood Professional Development information, please call 413.588.5570.