Five College Consortium

Five College Partnership Programs

Doors to the World

Announcing the Doors to the World 2017 Summer Institute: East Asia!

We welcome PreK-3 teachers, librarians, and literacy coaches nationwide to apply now. Priority application deadline is April 3, 2017. For more information, click here.

Doors to the World offers professional development experiences and accessible resources that PreK to grade 3 educators can use to promote global literacy through critical engagement with culture as represented in children's literature. Through imagination books can become doors that allow children to be part of the world created by the text’s words and images, expanding their view of the world and affirming, diversifying and recasting their social experiences within a global context.

Twelve teachers (pictured above) participated in the first Doors to the World Summer Institute July 13-16, 2015, at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and created unit plans for 12 global children’s picture books representing diverse human experiences. In 2016-17, Doors to the World is working with Holyoke Public Schools and Springfield Public Schools teachers to bring books about Puerto Rican and other Latino cultures into their classrooms. 2017’s Doors to the World Summer Institute will focus on books about and from East Asian cultures. For more information about Doors professional learning opportunities, go to the Doors website or contact

The Doors to the World website is live! The website features a list of carefully chosen published picture books coming from and/or relating to a wide range of countries and cultures, each book presented with curricular, visual and informational materials that richly contextualize the story and enable teachers to readily integrate lessons using the book into their classrooms. Search for books, learn about critical reading strategies, and explore resources. Check it out, use it, and send us your feedback.

A collaboration among the Five College Schools Partnership, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hampshire College, the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass Amherst) College of Education, the Five College Center for East Asian Studies, this project supports global understanding through literacy development, targeting Pre-K to Grade 3 children in U.S. classrooms. Doors to the World is supported by the Longview Foundation, the Irene E. and George A. Davis Foundation, the Freeman Foundation, and the Five College Consortium.

For more information, contact Marla Solomon.


Teaching Native American Histories -- new program!

Announcing Teaching Native American Histories, a two-week NEH Summer Institute for Teachers to take place July 16-28, 2017, on Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod, our newest offering within a long history of professional development on Native American cultures and histories. Application deadline: March 1, 2017. Notification date: March 31, 2017. A $2,100 stipend will be provided for travel and lodging expenses. For more information and to apply, visit:

A wealth of exciting scholarship has appeared in the 21st century that has not found its way into K-12 or even post-secondary teaching about the histories, communities, and cultures of Native American peoples. This two-week program is organized around five key concepts:

  • place matters -- what we call "grounded history" -- exemplified by the Summer Institute's location in the Wampanoag homeland on present-day Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard;
  • identity is a contested space, encompassing how people see themselves and how they are seen by others;
  • indigenous identities are intimately connected to land;
  • historical trauma is an important factor to consider in how past events are taught in schools;
  • teachers can learn to find and evaluate classroom resources about Native Americans for themselves.

Open to all K-12 teachers but particularly suited for history and social studies teachers. We hope you will apply!