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Playfully Practical
Professional Development

with Caron Levis, Author, MFA, LMSW
for teachers, librarians, school counselors and staff. 
To Request a Workshop

and of course ask me anything! 
“Brilliant! Genuine! Genuinely brilliant! I left feeling so inspired and energized for my next library storytime.
-A.G.,  Elementary School Librarian/Media Assistant 
Caron Levis has over 20 years as a Creative SEL/Literacy educator. 
She has presented at Library Association events, writing conferences, and coached educators on/off site. She is the chair and a professor in the Writing for Children/YA MFA program at The New School University, has an LMSW, MFA, a background in acting, educational theater, non-profit and one-to-one work. Caron has worked with all age students, pre-K through University, in a variety of settings such as public/private schools, detention centers, a ballet-academy, and more. In addition to her training Caron has learned from and collected best practices from the real experts, aka classroom teachers, in the hundreds of schools she has worked in. She uses a blend of drama, writing, and psychophysical techniques to create a variety of workshops for preK–12th grade educators, librarians, school counselor with an interactive playful approach to exploring practical skills. 
“I loved the workshop with Caron. She came with excitement, knowledge and thoughtfulness on a topic that is often dismissed. I can't wait to return to my school and share all I learned with our staff.”
-Jessica Hom, Librarian at Natoma Station Elementary, Folsom, CA 
Professional Development Program Offerings
All PD’s (unless noted) are available as a Half-Day Workshop, Enrichment Presentation (45-60min) or Multi-Day Program.
Key Note Presentations for Conferences/Universities: Caron is available to speak at conferences for writers, educators, and mental health workers. Most of the below workshops can be transformed into a large audience presentation or ask about additional or customized topics.
  • Reading Emotions: Integrating SEL into Storytime and Literacy Lessons with practical playfulness. Reading and feeling go hand and hand! Participants discover playful techniques for increasing SEL and literacy skills by utilizing story-time or literacy blocks to engage kids via interactive readings and creative activities. Participants practice strategies to help kids identify as readers and writers, understand character, conflict, and more; develop self-awareness, empathy, emotional vocabulary, and communication skills. You will walk away with instantly effective story-time tools that simultaneously engage, teach skills, and manage affect levels (even in an assembly sized audience.)  You will tap into your own strengths, gain new ideas. Caron will use her own books and others as springboards for discussion and activities. Reading-Emotions can be focused specifically on topics such as friendship, big challenges and changes, bereavement/ambiguous loss, or separations/reunions—all topics include caring and kindness! (Great PD for librarians/teachers/school counselors)
  • Turn-To-Me: Using books to encourage communication with kids about tough-topics. Participants will explore and walk away with practical tools, techniques, and information on how to utilize books to creatively support and delve into Big-Feelings, Big-Questions, Big-Changes with children. Topics include: bereavement, ambiguous loss, separations, and love. Through presentation, discussion, and activities, participants will gain new strategies and confidence to use any book to approach and engage kids in those big-questions (whenever they pop up!) validate feelings, and encourage mindfully open communication within your families and school communities. (Great PD for librarians/school counselors; Enrichment for parents/caregivers)
  • Re-freshing reVISION: Teachers, does the idea of rewriting induce groans in your classroom?  Enter a writer who knows all about the challenges and joys of revising and believes in the power of words to reframe anything. For Caron, writing is revision! Educators will be offered examples of the professional drafting process, new language, and exercises to use within existing curriculum to help students discover the delights of drafting! (Great PD for educators of all ages 2nd grade and up)
  • Interactive Storytime Techniques: Librarians, teachers, and caregivers gain active Storytime tools and techniques that engage, energize—and manage those wiggles all the way to The End!   Participants learn key phrases and strategies to keep attention flowing, create unison in-your-seat participation, and seamlessly shift affect levels so you can get that energy up while keeping them steady and ready. 
  •  Writers Process Revealed. Educators have shared that knowing the real-life (joyful and  gritty!) details about Caron's process of writing and getting published has helped them in engaging reluctant and advanced students alike as readers and and writers. Caron shares the behind the scenes process of shaping ideas into stories through drafts, edits, research.  Through slide presentation, hands on writing activities, and Q&A, educators will have greater understanding of how characters, plots, sentence flow and more are developed and have anecdotes about rejection and perseverance, mistakes, and growth to share with students. Participants  have the option of receiving a personalized letter and writing prompt of exercise for their students.
“Caron’s interactive, full body presentation along with hands-on activities kept kids engaged and emotionally connected to the story as well as her experiences in book making.I’ll be using some of her grounding technique for my own future class visits!”
 -Alessandra Affinito, NYPL Librarian Organizer.
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