Find Your Spark #WEMTA 2023 has ended
avatar for Mallory Umar and Dr. Haydee Smith

Mallory Umar and Dr. Haydee Smith

Racine Unified School District
Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction
Mallory A. Umar is a passionate Latinx educator who believes in the power of literacy and intentionally-designed instruction to create change. Currently, Mallory serves as an Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction in the Racine Unified School District. She is a doctoral student at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Education Leadership and Policy Analysis department.

Dr. Haydee Smith is the Principal of Parkway Elementary in Glendale-River Hills School District. She believes that access and exposure to diverse literature is empowering for all students. Literature is the avenue by which readers gain a more complex perception of themselves and others. Readers learn that characters share universal experiences such as hopes, dreams, challenges, inspiration etc. Children's literature is impactful as it serves as the catalyst to fostering self-acceptance, self-love, self-beauty thus creating well-rounded students who are well-prepared for the global society that they live in.

Living the Legacy of Pura Belpré: Latinx Literature in the Elementary Classroom 

Facilitators: Mallory A. Umar & Dr. Haydee Smith 

Session Description: 

Pura Belpré was the first Latina Librarian in the New York City Public Library. An educator, storyteller, and author, she shared stories that derived from and affirmed the lives and experiences of the Latinx community. Still today, according to the CCBC, less than 5% of published children’s books feature Latinx characters. Research shows us that children of all backgrounds benefit from diverse literature in the classroom. This session will highlight literature that celebrates stories and amplify voices of the Latinx community. During this session, we will discuss ways to use Latinx literature to meet new ELA Wisconsin Standards in grades K-5. Session participants will walk away with book lists and practical ideas for integrating Latinx literature into the curriculum.

My Speakers Sessions

Sunday, February 5

2:15pm CST