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April 9, 2021 @ 9:00 am 3:30 pm

Kids, Books & Anti-Racism Series: Sonja Cherry-Paul

Sonja Cherry-Paul

Book Clubs for a Better World: Reimagining Reading Instruction as Liberatory Spaces

This one-day workshop with Sonja Cherry-Paul will take your book clubs to the next level!

Join Sonja to learn how to use book clubs to create a culture of reading and provide liberatory spaces where students reflect on their racial identities, challenge inequities, and take ownership over their own reading lives.

Registration for this event has closed.

April 9, 2021
9:00-11:30am & 1:00-3:30pm (EST)
Number of Days:
1 day
Grade Levels:
  • Classroom Teachers, Interventionists & Specialists
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
  • District & School Leaders
Online: Real Time Learning
30-Day Access to the Recording
$150 Individual (includes professional text)
  • $250 Individual + Colleague (includes professional text). Email to initiate discounted rate.
  • Group discounts available! Email to inquire.
Workshop Overview
Meet Sonja Cherry-Paul
Learn About the Complete Series
Registration Policies

Book Clubs for a Better World: Reimagining Reading Instruction as Liberatory Spaces with Sonja Cherry-Paul

The benefits of book clubs extend far beyond reading comprehension and academic gains. Together, we’ll explore the possibilities of book clubs as brave spaces where students reflect on their racial identities, read and discuss books that affirm them, and challenge inequities.

We’ll bring greater clarity around the term “culturally relevant” and construct book clubs as spaces to disrupt normalized models and exclusionary practices of “knowing” in order to honor and affirm the racial and cultural identities of students. Book clubs have an indelible influence on students as they develop as critical thinkers, lifelong readers, and change makers in the world. They have the potential to shift the teacher/student power dynamics and become liberatory spaces where students take ownership over their own reading lives.

Breathing Life into Book Clubs book cover.

Registered participants will receive a copy of the professional text, Breathing New Life into Book Clubs: A Practical Guide for Teachers by Sonja Cherry-Paul and Dana Johansen.

You will earn 6 professional development hours for participating in this workshop.

Headshot of Sonja Cherry-Paul

Sonja Cherry-Paul

Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul’s research and work stem from an unyielding commitment to anti-bias and anti-racist pedagogy and practices. As a middle school English teacher for twenty years, Sonja developed curriculum that centered the work of racial literacy in K-12 schools. She co-founded the Race Matters Committee in the school district in order to spotlight and center issues related to race and racism and provide faculty and staff with the language and tools to facilitate conversations with students about race.

Sonja is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Institute for Racial Equity in Literacy. She is an author, consultant, and Director of Diversity and Equity at TCRWP. Sonja is the Senior Advisor of the Heinemann Fellows. She has adapted the forthcoming Stamped for Kids, published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers, and 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. Sonja leads presentations about literacy at national conferences and works with educators around the world providing professional development on reading and writing instruction and antiracist teaching practices.


This workshop is part of a larger series designed to confront social injustices that contribute to the race- and poverty-related opportunity gap by promoting access and equity for all children through literacy. You may register for this individual workshop or all of the series.

Kids, Books & Anti-Racism Series

Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Reading to Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Speak Freely, Think Deeply, and Take Action with Lester Laminack
This event has passed.

Friday, April 9, 2021
Book Clubs for a Better World: Reimagining Reading Instruction as Liberatory Spaces with Sonja Cherry-Paul
This event has passed.

July 12 – 15, 2021 (Summer Literacy Institute)
Reaching All Learners: Taking Action for Equity with Kass & Cornelius Minor
This event has passed.


Thank You To Our Sponsors

Gold Sponsor
Edith Michelson Milender, Lesley Class of 1958

Silver Sponsor
Terri Ziegler-Lowell, Lesley Class of 1994

Diversity Scholarship Sponsors
Sarah Bishins Family
Susan Farris Family
Gary Nelson, Publishers Representative


Cancellation Deadline & Refund Policies

You must cancel in writing two weeks before the start of the course to get a refund, minus a $50 processing fee. Email to cancel. If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute at any time. Regardless of conditions, if the event is held but you cannot attend, you will be billed for the full amount.

Registration Deadline

Registration for this workshop has closed. If you are interested in registering, email us at by 9:00am ET on Thursday, April 8, 2021 and we may be able to accommodate.

Bring a Colleague Option

You may register for this individual workshop for yourself and a colleague at the discounted rate of $250. Please email or call 617-349-8424 to initiate this process.

Independent Learning Policy & Recordings

This workshop will be recorded. Due to the workshop’s interactive structure, we highly recommend that the registrant participates live on April 9, 2021. Access to the recording (30 days) will be sent to all registrants within a week after the live workshop.

The registrant agrees to access the live session and/or recording for the purpose of independent learning. Access to the live session and/or recording is restricted to the registrant and may not be accessed in a group setting.

Certificates of Attendance

Only registered participants will receive a certificate of attendance for their participation by completing an insight form, which will be provided to participants at the end of the event. Please allow our team at least 1 week to process your certificate.

Kids, Books & Anti-Racism Series: Summer Literacy Institute (July 12-15, 2021)