Outreach Home

The Center for Latin American Studies Outreach

Educational Outreach

The Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt seeks to expand awareness and knowledge of Latin America in K-16 settings.  CLAS works closely with the Tennessee Department of Education to award continuing education credit to teachers for their attendance at professional development.  On average, CLAS organizes 150 educational and cultural events per year that impact more than 75,000; the impact of these efforts is amplified through teachers who attend many of our events.

Our outreach strategy builds upon faculty areas of expertise in ways that simultaneously enrich research and teaching, and we program multiple activities around a specific visitor or event. The Center collaborates with area institutions such as Cheekwood, the Frist, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, the Nashville Public Library, the Nashville Opera and the Adventure Science Center to expand our outreach in the community.  We also provide resources to teachers available to check out for use in their classrooms in the form of online curriculum resources, a lending library, and culture boxes.


Somos Nos 2016 flyer web-page-001Teacher Professional Development Workshops These workshops are designed for K-16 educators to expand knowledge on a variety of topics related to Latin America.  For examples of past workshops and to see upcoming workshops, visit the teacher workshop webpage.



lending libraryLending Library CLAS maintains a comprehensive collection of books, lesson plans, multimedia materials and other resources to help teachers incorporate Latin American content into their classrooms. All materials are available to educators free of charge. To borrow books, films or multimedia materials, please visit our lending library webpage.



Culture Boxes CLAS has travelling “culture boxes” filled with cultural artifacts for a hands-on experience for students and teachers.  These boxes are available for check-out and use in classrooms. To see photos and descriptions of the items in these boxes, click here.



La Camioneta Glendale projectCurriculum Resources CLAS offers downloadable lesson plans, multimedia materials and other resources to help teachers incorporate Latin American content into their classrooms. All materials are available to teachers free of charge. Lesson plans, curriculum units and PowerPoint presentations may be downloaded here.



Learn about Latin American Culture and Arts lessons are designed to introduce students to a variety of topics related to Latin America and the rich artistic and cultural traditions from this diverse region of the world. Interdisciplinary in nature, the lessons incorporate art and cultural traditions from Latin America with language learning, geography, current events, history, and more. Workshop templates are a resource for teachers seeking fun, short educational activities that encourage creativity, increase awareness about Latin America.  View them all here.


Dr. Vanderbilt Pageant

Speakers Bureau Educators who would like to request an area specialist speaker from the CLAS Speakers Bureau to visit his/her classroom or special event may submit a Speakers Bureau Request Form.



Business, Media and General Public Outreach

CLAS reaches thousands of people through business roundtables, conferences, art exhibitions, performances, public lectures and podcasts.  With local businesses, CLAS offers workshops focused on the economic and political conditions in specific countries.  We hold roundtable discussions with business leaders from the US and Latin America, partnering with professional schools within the University as well as community organizations.  The Center regularly works with the health care community through collaborations with Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, the Inter-American Health Alliance, and Conexión Guatemala.  CLAS has developed educational components for art exhibits and has sponsored community art shows and theater performances.  With the Nashville Public Library, CLAS collaborates on a storytime, providing Latin American content into children’s literature.


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Outreach Contact Information
Colleen McCoy
Outreach Coordinator
Email: colleen.e.mccoy@vanderbilt.edu

Teacher Advisory Board

The Teacher Advisory Board consists of thoughtful educational leaders who advise the Outreach Coordinator.  These educators act as ambassadors for CLAS in their schools and districts, provide honest feedback on the teacher workshops and events, and articulate programming recommendations for the future.  These educators represent a variety of schools, grades, and areas of expertise.

2019-2020 Board:

Emily Baughman – McGavock High School
Stephanie Knight – Center for Applied Second Language Studies, University of Oregon
Maria Milliken – Maplewood High School
Sharlyn Scott– Desert Vista High School (Phoenix, AZ)
Dalila Suarez – Lipscomb University, Glencliff High School