CESA 2 Language & Culture Center Book & Media Study - Season 1: Crossing Paths: Exploring Culture through Stories - Entire Series


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Last Date to Register: 8/27/2021 12:01 AM
Agency: CESA 2
Agency Contact: Audrey Lesondak
Agency Assistant: Kayla Kolstad 262-473-1473
Location: TBD
Facility: TBD
8/27/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
9/17/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
10/22/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
11/5/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
12/3/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
12/17/2020 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
1/20/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
2/3/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
3/3/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
3/17/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
4/21/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM
5/5/2021 03:00 PM - 05:30 PM

Description: Sign up for a season pass (full year, 6 books) or an individual study (1 book).

For thousands of years humans have relied on storytelling to engage, to share emotions, to motivate us, and to relate personal experiences. We’re wired for it. We are also better able to sustainably implement teaching practices when we have collective understanding and shared experiences of our students.  Stories help us get there.

Beginning in August, CESA 2 will host a book and media seminar series centered around different genres, topics and cultures. This series will include 6 books read over the course of 10 months. For each book, we will meet twice for approximately  1 ½ - 2 hours of discussion and orientation.  Meetings will be in a combined face-to-face and online format. The format and focus of the series will align with culturally responsive teaching standards for speakers of other languages.  Participants will have opportunities to share ideas, to ask questions and reflect, and to follow central ideas developed within the narratives.

To build our collective knowledge and to support lesson design, a collection of resources will accompany each book. These collections will include compilations of poems, essays,  historical research, articles, data, short stories, podcasts, and videos. Their purpose is to help us build background knowledge and dig-deeper to further our understanding of applicable topics. Additionally, the collection will include materials to support teaching students from diverse backgrounds and connecting with students’ families.  
The books selected have been chosen for their timeliness, ease of access for busy educators, inclusion of voices from multiple-multicultural backgrounds, and perspectives which are the voices of authors who have lived these experiences. These voices help us learn something about the storytellers’ lives and ourselves.

Location: Locations and specific meeting times will be determined by the registered participants. Options include: CESA 2 Whitewater Office, Libraries, Communities Center, Schools or Cafes within the CESA 2 Region, and via Zoom. The start time will be set between 3:00 and 5:30. Since the sessions are centered around participant engagement, they will not be recorded

Credit Option: 1, 2, or 3 credit options available through Concordia University at $160 per credit.  For each credit, participants must attend 2 book seminars within the series and complete applicable assignments.

The proposed schedule is listed below. You will be able to click the link to the book directly. Additionally, a description of each book is listed in Alphabetical order as an appendix.

Book 1: The Distance Between Us: A Memoir by Reyna Grande. REGISTER HERE
Start date: August 13 - Introduction, timeline and discussion questions (email, folder and introductions)
Session 1: Thursday, August 27, 2020 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Thursday, September 17, 2020 (potentially September 10)  Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Book 2: The Best We Could Do - An Illustrated Memoir by Thi Bui. REGISTER HERE
Start Date: Start date Thursday, October 8, 2020  - Introduction, timeline and discussion questions.
Session 1: Thursday, October 22, 2020 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Thursday, November 5, 2020 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Book 3: Dear America: Notes of an undocumented Immigrant by Jose Antonio Vargas.  REGISTER HERE
Start Date: Thursday, November 19 - Introduction, timeline and discussion questions.
Session 1: Thursday, December 3, 2020 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Thursday, December 17, 2020 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Book 4: Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftin. REGISTER HERE
Start Date: Start date:  Wednesday, January 6 - Introduction, timeline and discussion questions
Session 1: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Book 5: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Translated from the French by Mattias Ripa and Blake Ferris. REGISTER HERE
Start Date: Start date:  Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - Introduction, timeline and discussion questions.
Session 1: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Book 6: The Good Immigrant: 26 Writers Reflect on America Edited by Nikesh Shukla and Chimene Suleyman. REGISTER HERE
Start Date: Start date:  April 7, 2021  Introduction, timeline and discussion questions.
Session 1: Wednesday, April 21, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD
Session 2: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 Afternoon 3:00 - 5:30 TBD

Participants will be required to obtain a copy of the book in a format that works best for them. (graphic-novel, paperback, hardcopy, audio MP3, or ebook.)


Cost: Participants are encouraged to participate in the whole series at a discounted rate and can sign up via the series registration page. Users may register for individual book seminars via the direct links above.

  • $289 for CESA 2 Title III Consortium Members
  • $369 for all others

There is a 15% discount if you sign up as a team of 5 from the same school or district. Email if you wish to use this discount.



About the Seminar Facilitator: Audrey Lesondak joins CESA 2 as a consultant in the Language and Culture Center of Excellence after serving eight years as a consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI). There, she implemented programs to support English Learners/Multilingual Learners including the ESEA Title III-A grant, the ACCESS for ELLs English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment, Immigrant Children and Youth Discretionary Grant, Seal of Biliteracy, and the Bilingual Bicultural Grant. Audrey has been engaged in cross-cultural work and experiences for more than 20 years. Growing up in Chicago, traveling, and working within the fields of education, and in the arenas of teaching English to speakers of other languages, affordable housing, and community development, she has engaged in teaching and learning (a lifelong process) through multicultural, cultural awareness, and culturally-responsive approaches.



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Disclaimer: CESA 2 will do its best to accommodate general dietary requests; if your dietary need is very specific or severe, you may want to bring your own lunch to ensure your comfort and health. CESA 2 does not assume liability for adverse reactions to food consumed or items one may come into contact with while eating at a CESA 2 event. If you have a dietary need or food allergy, please go into your MyQuickReg profile and update the special accommodations section. Notice of a special dietary need must be made 2 weeks in advance of the event.

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