Kindergarten to Secondary School (K-12)

Kindergarten to Secondary School (K-12)

Upcoming Events:

Cartoneras Teacher Workshop

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 5:00-8:00 p.m.

4130 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, University of Pittsburgh

Presenters: Martha Mantilla, Librarian for Latin American Studies Collection & Luz Amanda Hank, Assistant Director for Partnerships and Programming, Center for Latin American Studies

The mission of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) is to promote global understanding through support for teaching, learning, and research in and on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diverse diasporic communities of Latin American and Caribbean origin. The cartonera Publishing trend began in Buenos Aires in 2003, organized by writers and artists producing low-cost, hand-made books, using recycled cardboard (thus the name cartonera). Interestingly, literacy rates improve with access to cartonera books. The books are produced in a collective-circular way, in which authors become – designers become – publishers become – authors.The cartonera phenomenon has expanded across the Americas, Europe and Africa. CLAS will facilitate cartonera publishing through this workshop focused on Pittsburgh schools and the larger community. We aim to promote ways in which language, social studies, and science teachers can work together using their creativity to recycle basic materials while promoting literacy. Register here. For more information, email:

At this level, CLAS shares its expertise on Latin America and the Caribbean with K-12 educators through:

Teacher Training Workshops

Teacher training workshops on Latin America and the Caribbean are designed to enhance educators' abilities to teach about this world region and to assist teachers in incorporating Latin American, Caribbean, and diaspora content into primary and secondary school curriculum. The workshops are held on weekday evenings or Saturday mornings at the University of Pittsburgh. CLAS professional development workshops are approved for Pennsylvania Department of Education Act 48 credit hours.

Professional Development Overseas

CLAS offers study/research abroad opportunities for area teachers. These programs are designed to contribute to the development and improvement of the study of modern foreign languages and area studies in the U.S. by providing training opportunities for teachers in Latin American and Caribbean countries. In the past, CLAS has sponsored professional development programs for K-12 teachers in Nicaragua, Cuba, and Northeastern Brazil. The Nicaraguan and Brazilian programs were funded by the U. S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad.

The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in partnership with the Andy Warhol Museum (AWM) are pleased to announce that we have received a Fulbright-Hays group project abroad grant to conduct a professional development program in Brazil.

Curriculum Development

As the result of CLAS professional development/teacher training workshops and the school visit program various lessons with Latin American and Caribbean content have been development. These are appropriate for K-12 classrooms.

School Visit Program

CLAS undergraduate and graduate students are available to visit K-12 classrooms to share their knowledge on Latin America. CLAS is available to visit K-16 classrooms to share their knowledge of Latin America, Latinx, or related topics. The presentations are interactive and engage area students in discussions and activities on various Latin American topics.  The presentations are designed for a regular classroom period of approximately 40 minutes and no more than 35 students. Most lessons are available in Spanish or English. Current topics include but are not limited to:

  • Countries of Latin America
  • Día de los Muertos and other holidays
  • Molas: An art form of Panama
  • Musical Instruments
  • Saw Dust Carpets (Guatemalan Tradition)
  • Diego Rivera’s Murals (Mexican Artist)
  • Presentation around the story of Abuela’s Weave
  • Presentation around the story of Lucha Libre

For more information, contact 

Resource Lending Library

CLAS maintains a collection of instructional resources on Latin America and the Caribbean available at the university, secondary, and upper elementary levels for classroom use. The resources include maps, videos, slide sets, books, lessons, and curriculum guides. A catalog, Latin American Educational Resources, resides on the website and is available in hardcopy.

Model United Nations Simulation

The University of Pittsburgh's Center for International Studies (UCIS) in conjunction with it's area studies centers, the Citizens for Global Solutions Pittsburgh, and the United Nations Association of Pittsburgh conducts an annual Model United Nations simulation on the Pitt Oakland campus. Throughout the day, local high school students, "call to session" six bodies of the United Nations and assume roles of diplomats. Each school delegation is assigned a country to represent in negotiations. Participants discuss controversial issues facing the world wide community within the formal context of a United Nations simulation. University of Pittsburgh students serve as secretary general and session moderators as well as mentors to the high school students. Keep in touch with the planning by visiting the Model UN website