Current Professional Development Opportunities

Supporting Young Children's Literacy After Preschool

Thursday, April 29th

2-3:15 PM Mountain Time




Most children transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" by age 7. Learn about how our panelists support emergent readers and their families through this transition! You'll leave with new program ideas for both regular and pandemic times, and have a chance to pick the panelists' brains.


Guest Speakers:


Carlee Tocco (Douglas County Libraries) followed many paths before joining the library world as a Youth Librarian. Her youth was spent studying theater and interning with shows in Las Vegas, including Celine Dion and Elton John. She then transitioned her schooling to Speech Language Pathology, where she worked in pediatric home health. Her past experiences provided an excellent foundation to transition into librarian work as she develops, expands and enhances storytime and other literacy programs.


Diana LaCount is a Children's Librarian with Mesa County Libraries. Diana has worked with school-age children for 12 years and has hosted a variety of library programs for children at that age level.


Lisa Mulvenna serves as the Head of Children's and Teen Services at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library.  Lisa has 20 years of presenting highly energetic story time and early literacy programming. As a manager, she now works with staff to develop new services, programs, and outreach for ages 0-18 and their families.  Lisa was the recipient of the 2012 Pletz Award for Excellence in Service to Youth, given by the Michigan Library Association.


Lupita Ramos has worked for Denver Public Library for 16 years, including 4 years in the Early Learning Department. She presents Read Alouds in Spanish to preschool classrooms in Denver Public Schools, as well as parent presentations related to Early Learning. Lupita is passionate about spreading the love of reading, especially for Spanish picture books.


Nora Stewart has worked for Denver Public Library (Montbello Branch) for 4 years as an early-learning focused librarian. She presents Read Alouds in English and Spanish, as well as planning and presenting play-based programs for Virtual Little University. Nora was a K-5 Spanish teacher and 3rd-grade reading interventionist in Denver Public Schools and also has a background in youth development, serving as an afterschool and summer program coordinator.

*Live captioning will be provided. A transcript and a recording will be made available afterwards if attendees cannot participate in real-time.

Please contact with any additional access needs.

Project READY:

Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth

Based on the interest in EDISJ (Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice) from our member survey and CLEL’s mission to strengthen all children’s pathway to literacy, the CLEL Steering Committee is launching a Project READY cohort.

Project READY: Reimagining Equity & Access for Diverse Youth is free, online professional development curriculum for school and public youth services librarians, library administrators, and others interested in improving their knowledge about race and racism, racial equity, and culturally sustaining pedagogy. The primary focus of the Project READY curriculum is on improving relationships with, services to, and resources for youth of color and Native youth.

CLEL will be facilitating small study groups of youth services staff interested in working through the Project READY curriculum. This will be a yearlong learning opportunity, with a mix of biweekly small group discussions, occasional large cohort meetings, and asynchronous work; all taking place virtually between March 2021 and February 2022.

Applications for the 2021 CLEL Project READY Cohorts are closed.

Project READY is a free, self-paced curriculum. You are welcome to complete this training independently. All materials can be found at

If you are interested in joining a CLEL Cohort in 2022, we will be evaluating interest and making an announcement next spring.