Best Practices for Using Diverse Books



A Virtual Connections Workshop for Facilitators and Teachers
with Virginia Dearani & Anne Sibley O’Brien

August 25th from 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM on Zoom



In this workshop, presenters from the Diverse BookFinder out of Bates College will present current research and best practices around using diverse books in the Connections program and adult education classroom. This is a half-day, virtual workshop with breaks. We welcome you to attend one or all of the sessions listed below!


  • Introductions- 8:30-8:45 am
  • Laying the Groundwork: Research on Young Children & Social Difference w/educator Virginia Dearani - 8:45-9:30am 
  • Exploring Racial Identity: Why Diverse Books Matter w/children’s book creator Anne Sibley O’Brien 9:40-10:25am
  • Putting Theory into Practice – Reflecting on Intersectionality of Identity, Literacy, History, and Social-Emotional Learning w/educator Virginia Dearani   10:25-11:20am
  • Diverse Picture Book Read Aloud & Discussion: Small Groups- 11:30am-12:10pm
  • Diverse BookFinder Database- 12:10-12:30pm
  • Wrap-Up- 12:30 pm


Meet Our Workshop Presenters!

Virginia DearaniM.A. Ed.

Virginia is currently a full-time Lecturer at UMF in the Early Childhood and Elementary Education Program and completing her Doctoral Studies in Literacy/Curriculum Design at UMO. As a bi-racial woman, she has learned how to navigate the world of teaching and learning with a perspective of pluralism, honoring the both/and. Her focus of teaching and learning is Embodied Social Justice Education and Interdisciplinary Curriculum Designer for Pre-K through 8th grade. Throughout the past 25+ years, Virginia has focused her education and professional work in the areas of cross-cultural pedagogy and peace education for children 3 years through adulthood. She has developed a variety of curriculums and teaching methodology for young children, school-aged, teens, parents and professionals on topics including: Radical Love in Action; Peace & Conflict Resolution Skills; Tools of Nonviolent Communication;  Equity Literacy; Media Literacy; Multiple Intelligence Theory and Practice; Gender Relations; Embodied Social Justice in the Classroom; and Partnership Education. She values, and focuses on the joy of partnering with children and youth to create communities of belonging so needed in our world today. She resides in Auburn, ME where she commits to playing daily with her 2 young boys and husband. 


Anne Sibley O’Brien

Annie is a children’s book writer and illustrator who has published thirty-seven award-winning books featuring diverse children and cultures, including I’m New Here and Someone New. Her experience of being raised bilingual and bicultural in South Korea as the daughter of medical workers was the catalyst for a lifelong fascination with and passion for human difference. In addition to creating books, she has spent her life exploring issues of race, culture, representation, and inclusion, including two projects she confounded, I’m Your Neighbor Books and the Diverse BookFinder. Annie lives on Peaks Island with her husband, and is the mother of two grown children, and grandmother of two, all of whom now reside in Maine.

Event Details


Thursday, August 25, 2022 8:30am


117 Pleasant Street
Concord NH 03301

Hosted By:

New Hampshire Humanities

Contact Info:

Mary Nolin 603-530-1413