Five College Consortium

NEH Summer Institute for Teachers:
Native Americans of New England

Lani Blechman

Lani Blechman

Lani Blechman is the Librarian at Leverett Elementary School, where she serves a diverse population of 125 preK-6th grade students in rural Western Massachusetts.  In her current work, as a school librarian and also as an anti-oppression facilitator, she can't stop thinking about three things: the deaths of Leelah Alcorn and Blake Brockington and the moment when a 6 year old student of color asked her, "Am I African-American?". 

Lani has been doing educational, care, and leadership development work with children, teens, and young adults since she was a teen herself.  She brings her focus on reproductive, gender, and racial justice to her current work as a school librarian. Lani has and continues to lead trainings, particularly on gender diversity, and intergroup dialogues, focusing on race and racism. She is currently steeped in the question: What are the best ways to have conversations with young children about race and racism and to turn those conversations into pervasive anti-racism elementary school library curriculum?

Lani Blechman earned her MA DESE license as a K-12 school librarian in January 2015.  She has worked, interned, and consulted for many different public and private schools and school libraries in Western Massachusetts. 

Lesson Plan: Stories We Use to Understand Our World: Exploring Native American Deeptime Stories and Geology Explanations