Start date: June 2, 2022
End date: June 3, 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Worlds of Words, College of Education, University of Arizona

Story as World Making: Connecting Children to Global Cultures

An in-person workshop presented by Kathy G. Short and Dorea Kleker, University of Arizona, with participating authors Rajani LaRocca and Carol Kim.

June 2-3, 2022, 9 am to 4 pm each day, at the University of Arizona.

Cost: $30, including lunch and materials. (The travel scholarship application deadline was May 13th.)

A certificate for 12 hours of Continuing Education is available for those who participate in the entire institute.

This event is full, and registration has ended.


Event Details:

Join us for a two-day workshop to engage in experiences and books that invite children to immerse themselves in global cultures. In this interactive workshop, you will explore new global books for your work with children and participate in engagements with these books. You will also interact with several children’s authors who will join us to talk about their global books. Participants will receive copies of their picturebooks along with booklists and other materials.

Our work is framed around encouraging children to balance an understanding of their cultural locations and loyalties with a reflective openness to new ways of thinking and being in the world. This open mindedness can be created by inviting children into story worlds where they can experience the ways people live, feel, and think in global cultures. As children develop empathy and knowledge, they come to know their home cultures and the world beyond home. One challenge is to dig below the surface of a culture (e.g. food and festivals) to connect with deeper cultural values, including the significance of language. Through engagements with books, we can challenge children to engage with story as a means of bridging divides and creating intercultural understanding.

Presenter Bios:

Kathy G. Short is a professor and endowed chair of global children’s literature in the College of Education at the University of Arizona with a focus on dialogue and inquiry and is Director of Worlds of Words: Center of Global Literacies and Literatures ( She has worked extensively with teachers all over the world on literature-based approaches and has authored many books and articles, including Creating Classrooms for Authors and Inquirers and Teaching Globally: Reading the World through Literature. She served as President of the National Council of Teachers of English and the US Board of Books for Young People.

Dorea Kleker is an early childhood teacher, educator and lecturer at the University of Arizona. Working with students and teachers across a wide variety of educational contexts in both the U.S. and Latin America, her work focuses on global and multicultural children’s literature, literacy and play to develop intercultural understanding, and the use of literature to actively engage children as inquirers across all content areas.

Carol Kim believes books and words have a magical ability to change the world for the better, and she writes for children with the hope of spreading some of that magic. She is the author of the picture book biography, King Sejong Invents the Alphabet, as well as 20 fiction and nonfiction books for the educational market. Carol relishes unearthing real-life stories and little-known facts to share with young readers. She lives in Austin, Texas with her family.

Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes books for young people, including Red, White, and Whole (2021)Seven Golden Rings (2020), Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers (2021),Where Three Oceans Meet (2021), I’ll Go and Come Back (2022), and more. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks.


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This institute is organized and sponsored by the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language and Literacy (CERCLL) and Worlds of Words.