Engaging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families

Professional Development


This course focuses on effective strategies for engaging immigrant and refugee families in the education of their children. After the completion of the 2 days of classes, participants will draw on the principles and strategies covered in the course to develop a plan for a small project to engage their EL families.

Approaches to family engagement addressed in this course include uses of multicultural literature; parent-child reading clubs (often offered in families’ native languages); family home reading; homework assignments that engage the whole family; multilingual family literacy nights; and parent classes. The course will include strategies to engage parents in learning or practicing English with their children; reading, talking, and sharing experiences in their native languages; participating in hands-on family math activities, and making use of community and neighborhood resources. Special attention will be paid to effective methods for engaging all parents in both school and at-home learning activities, including parents who may not be literate in their home language, grandparents who are primary caretakers, undocumented or mixed status families, and refugee families.

Audience and Grade Level

Administrators, Teachers; Grades PK-12* (While the strategies presented most directly address families of students in grades PK-6, educators working with older learners are welcome to participate with an eye to adapting course strategies to fit middle and high school contexts.)


15 PDPs will be awarded to participants upon completion of these two days of training, in addition to outside assignments (as per DESE regulations). Note that these 15 PDPs will satisfy the ELL-related requirement for recertification.


Future training dates will be announced here. If you have questions or are interested in offering this training on-site, please contact us.


  • 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 collaborative.org. 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.