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"Voice of Educators"
–interviews with k-16 educators in support of service-learning.

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alumni testimonials
"Voice of Educators"
–interviews with k-16 educators in support of service-learning.

The Complete Resource
for Service-Learning

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Community Works Journal
—Digital Magazine

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Turning the Tide
Inspiring Concern for Other and the Common Good through College Admissions
Harvard University
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for Community Based Organizations

Community Works Institute (CWI) offers a wide variety of highly engaging professional development options, support opportunities, and customized ON-SITE trainings for community based organizations.

"Now I can not only articulate how our environmental education programs use service-learning, and why that is important—I now have concrete ideas for how to make our programs better."
Marijke Hecht, Director of Education
Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy

What We Do
Since 1995, CWI has worked with thousands of educators across the U.S. and internationally. We help educators to create exciting and authentic curriculum and programs that connect students to their communities. CWI’s best practice based model has supported educators around the world in making service-learning a core part of their organizational culture and teaching practice.

Bring CWI to Your School, District, or Organization
CWI’s approach to place based service-learning and sustainability is uniquely powerful. Service-learning is associated with higher student engagement and achievement, improved school climate, and greater teacher effectiveness,

For a free consultation, or to discuss bringing CWI to your school, district, or community based organization, email Joe Brooks, or call us at: 909.480.3966 (PST)

CWI's Unique Approach to Service-Learning
We see service-learning as a crucial piece in a larger effort to connect and engage students with real world issues. Our approach is to first consider place as the context, with service-learning as the strategy, and sustainable communities as the goal. To achieve this we begin our work with educators by considering what sustainable communities look like, and how to connect students to a sense of place—their place—in intentional ways that will inform their experience with service and social action. Student voice and creating real reciprocity (genuine deeper and complimenting relationships) are absolutely inherent to high quality service-learning. An emphasis on social justice and diversity is an intentional and natural part of this process as it unfolds with students.

joe brooksOur site based professional development work with schools and community organizations, trainings, and workshops, is guided and facilitated by CWI founder and place based service-learning expert Joe Brooks—a veteran teacher, who for three decades has inspired and supported educators from around the world to involve students in powerful community focused experiences. We work with field tested best practices and principles of sustainability that support engaging your students in academically based service that contributes to building sustainable communities. Joe emphasizes "outside the box" thinking, the nuts and bolts of design, and long term program development.

How We Work
We will meet your organization exactly where you are, through a customized training, presentation, and/or coached planning and strategy sessions that integrate your school or organization’s own unique needs and resources. (fee schedule available on request)

We Support Educators by:
• Providing high quality training, consulting, and professional coaching;
• Offering annual open enrollment Summer Institutes;
• Showcasing resources and curriculum examples that work;
• Publishing and sharing teacher created work;
• Connecting practitioners in the field;


On Site Support and Events
Community Works Institute (CWI) offers coaching and consulting support, as well as on-site trainings, retreats, and professional development. CWI’s Model for Service-Learning is highly effective and comprehensive, at both the instructional and site levels. We will assist your organization in assessing specific needs and build a collaborative plan to meet those needs.

• CWI events/workshops are customizable and available in one or multi-day formats.
• we emphasize service-learning, sustainability, and place-based education.
• we support curriculum design that maximizes academic integration, student voice and engagement, while building reciprocal relationships with community partners.
• CWI sessions can be designed specifically for administrators, youth, and parents.
•We will meet your organization—where you are—helping to align your goals with concrete outcomes that staff-faculty, students, and parents will engage with and support.

Developing Site Based Plans
We provide onsite assistance in developing a comprehensive organizational plan for service-learning. CWI will work with your leadership team to clarify their goals and then coach them through the process of developing a professional development plan that includes the training needed for successful implementation.Organizations with clearly stated goals and a plan of action for service-learning have found they are more focused and more productive. Our support services can be customized to include: onsite work with the planning team, break out sessions, and virtual follow-up.

Workshops and Presentations
CWI provides highly interactive, practical, and engaging presentations and workshops. Participants in our frequently cite the active, hands-on approach we take All workshops are designed to meet the needs of your specific learning setting. Our presentations are designed to inspire and engage staff/faculty members in mission driven work that will bring out the best creative and collaborative spirit in our professional practice. Our approach is experience based and draw directly from educators in the field.

Participants will learn to use best practice based tools and strategies to:
• Identify high quality service-learning projects;
• Create a plan that incorporates service-learning into their teaching/program environment;
• Implement a high quality service-learning project for diverse types of learners;
• Build a collaborative and student voice driven learning environment;
• Facilitate reflective activities that are responsive to a variety of learning styles;

On Site Consultations
Visits to organizations usually range from two days to one week. We integrate best practice based strategies to create a sense of shared purpose and collaborative process and accomplishment. We assist with long-term planning, alignment with the organization’s mission, and practical steps for implementation.

“I loved the experience, the ideas, the thoughtful planning, and the energy and synergy. I am much more conscious now of the deeper and broader vision of service-learning as I try to implement what I learned at CWI. It was an amazing week!
Marnie Howell, Director, The Out of Door Academy
Sarasota, Florida

Program Design Work and Planning Sessions
Our planning sessions provide a coached opportunity for staff/teachers and administrators to develop their own curriculum plans and/or organizational wide continuums, with guided feedback aimed at creating a coherent and viable site plan. We believe that professional dialogue, planning, and work sessions are an often neglected but crucial part of professional development. Our participants consistently tell us that having focused work time with experienced guidance and support is invaluable to their process.

“What a difference a week makes! “I have been craving the kinds of discussions that took place throughout the week. They were motivating, provoking, and inspiring. The individual attention that CWI's faculty offered the participants through these conversations was noteworthy. As a result, I feel that I have an incredible wealth of resources available to me. CWi's Workbook, the handouts, and the incredibly generosity of participants and CWI faculty will be an enormous resource as I continue this work."
Tim Albers, Education Coordinator
Student Conservation Association
New Hampshire

Specialized Local Institutes for Community Organizations
We work with community based organizations, schools, districts, and regional partners to create intensive multi-day institutes. These institutes incorporate local priorities and initiatives within a strategic approach to service-learning. Our experience teaches us that truly effective institutes and PD events require a coaching and consultation component.

Service-Learning, Community Engagement, and the Common Core
With its emphasis on real world application and problem solving, Service-Learning is one of the finest ways to fully engage students in meeting goals for community engagement and Common Core objectives (K-12).

"Service-learning is one of several 'deeper learning' strategies that states, districts, schools, and teachers may use to help students gain a deeper understanding of core academic content and simultaneously build deeper learning skills through the integration of content knowledge with application."
Common Core State Standards Initiative

“Great learning and sharing experience. It clarified and reinforced my grasp of service-learning. The small group setting was essential in viewing service-learning at a micro level.”
José Luis Martinez
Waste Action Director
Berkeley, California

“You are masters of your trade. I am blessed and humbled at your presence in the lives of kids, as well as my own. Your facilitative, presentation, and organizational skills are excellent models for me.”
Margaret Anne Wheeler
Senior Coordinator of Community Involvement
Polk County School SD Florida

“This was a great experience for me. It refreshed and energized me. I am feeling inspired and motivated. Thank you for the flexibility and for listening! You practice what you teach."
Irma Varela Wynants
Recreation Specialist
Clark Co. Parks & Rec
Las Vegas, Nevada

“This will help me to better reflect on my craft and network with likeminded people.“
Luis H. Perales
Chicanos Por la Causa
Tucson, Arizona

“Reflecting about my time with CWI, it occurs to me that what lies at the heart of what we are all trying to do is to create vibrant youth stewards of sustainability. Not resigned. Not casual. Not angry. But vibrant, unstoppable youth stewards who use both tools that they have been given and tools that they create along the way. Sustainability is the goal. Service learning is the strategy.”
Hope Hawkins
Project Manager
Future of Life
Wilmington, Delaware

“Wonderful warm energy! I liked that reflection time was built in. All the pieces were a helpful soup to form a broadened perspective. Thank you for this quality time!"
Barbara Christie-Garvin
Network Coordinator
Afterschool Network

“Thank you for dedicating your time, energy, and passion and providing teachers with the practical tools to be successful. Your work can truly lead to lasting change in the world! The facilitators have a level of understanding and experience that, when combined with the opportunity for deep on-site collaboration, provides an experience that is incredibly valuable.”
Teresa Keller
Executive Director
Round the World
San Francisco, CA

"The study group discussion about my instructional best practice plan was the single most significant point. Everyone was so thoughtful and genuinely made my project come together—great work forming the team!"
Jessica Sankey
School Programs Dir.
Chittenden Solid Waste District, Vermont
CWI Institute video short [3 min.]
Rhonda Mitchell, Elementary Teacher
Trinity School, Atlanta, Georgia

CWI Institute video short [2 min.]
Dan Guardino, AP Science Teacher
Punahou School, Hawaii

CWI Institute video short [2 min.]
Jennifer Sertel, Outreach Director
Roberts College, Istanbul, Turkey







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