Using Culturally Relevant Children's Literature to Address Diversity, Social Justice & Social Emotional Learning

Course Type: 

  • Foundational Services

Foundational Services Type: 

  • Workshop/Networking Meeting

Course Date: 

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 8:30am to 3:30pm


In this children's literature and reading strategy workshop, we will investigate how to utilize literary and informational texts to develop culturally sensitive and relevant classrooms. We'll explore how to address the cognitive and affective needs of the "whole child" through the English Language Arts Common Core State Standards and Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards. Questioning techniques as well as strategies for promoting engaged book discussions will be examined. An extensive bibliography correlated to the Illinois Social Emotional Learning Standards will be shared along with many web-based resources. 


Laura Beltchenko

Presenter Bio: 


Laura Beltchenko is a 38-year veteran educator. Her career in public education includes classroom teacher, reading specialist, teacher and coordinator of the gifted, as well as associate superintendent for curriculum and instruction for a K-12-unit school district. She is committed to the professional development of teachers as they implement the English Language Arts Illinois Learning Standards and evidence-based literacy development. Laura has extensive knowledge of assessment literacy and is an ISBE Assessment Content Area Specialist and a state representative for PARCC. Laura believes in using quality children’s literature as a vehicle to support literacy development. Her personal children’s literature collection is vast and she weaves an appreciation of quality authors and illustrators in most presentations.

She was awarded the Illinois North Suburban Library System Library Advocate of the Year for her advocacy of school and public libraries, and was also named the Lake County Illinois Innovative Educator by the Illinois Principals Association. As an advocate for literacy development for teachers and administrators, she held the post of president of the Illinois Suburban Council of the International Reading Association for four years. She is also very active in the Illinois (IAGC) and National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and was awarded Administrator of the Year by NAGC for her advocacy of academically talented children. She is currently Chairman of the ISBE Gifted Education Advisory Council and immediate past Professional Development Chair of the Illinois Association of Title I Directors.

Laura is a frequent presenter at state and national conventions on topics such as balanced literacy, gifted education and children’s literature; she continually studies and presents on the ELA Common Core Standards. She contributed a chapter on discussing the needs of diverse learners in the ELA CCSS in the book Accelerating and Extending Literacy for Diverse Students, 2015. 


Pre K - Grade 5 teachers, special education and gifted teachers, reading specialists, librarians, EL faculty, curriculum leaders and principals


$0 - Lunch is NOT provided.


North Cook Intermediate Service Center

2340 South River Rd. 

Des Plaines, IL 60018





Cancellation Policy


Should you find it necessary to cancel your registration, please do so 7 days in advance of the event. Cancellations after that date will lead to you/your district forfeiting the right to a refund or non-payment of the registration. Because we understand that, as school personnel, circumstances change from day to day and scheduling conflicts may arise at any time, you may send someone from your district in your place.

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