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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.

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Community Works Journal
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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 International Schools

Community Works Institute (CWI) offers a wide variety of professional development opportunities and customized ON SITE trainings for international schools and organizations.

“I found it inspirational, providing me with tools to improve Service-Learning in my school I really appreciated the whole experience. I have a feeling that I’ve grown so much in such a short period of time. So many questions answered....”
Ligita Stawarz, Service-Learning Director
American School of Warsaw

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 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.

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 and schools to their communities. CWI’s best practice based model has supported educators around the world in making service-learning a core part of their school culture and teaching practice.

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

We Support International Schools 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 independent school practitioners in the field;


On Site Support and PD 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 school 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 also be designed specifically for administrators, youth, and parents.
• We will meet your school or organization—where you are—helping to align your goals with concrete outcomes that faculty, students, and parents will engage with and support.

Developing Long Term Professional Development Plans
We provide on-site assistance in developing a comprehensive professional development 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. Schools 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, grade level sessions, and virtual follow-up.

Workshops and Presentations
CWI is known for conducting highly interactive, practical, and engaging workshops. Participants in our workshops frequently cite the active, hands-on approach we take All workshops are designed to meet the needs of your specific learning setting.

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 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;

CWI employs dynamic presentations that are designed to inspire and engage faculty members in mission driven work that will bring out the best creative and collaborative spirit in our professional practice. Our presentations are experience based and draw directly from educators in the field.

On Site Consulting for International Schools
Visits to international schools 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 school’s mission, and practical steps for implementation.

Work and Planning Sessions
Our planning sessions provide a coached opportunity for teachers and administrators to develop their own curriculum plans and/or school 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.

Specialized Local Institutes for International Schools
We work with international schools 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" (higher education) 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


“It inspired and motivated me while also providing some very useful and valuable resources to help build our service-learning work. It was logical and very practical, user friendly and not overwhelming.”
Edgar Miranda, Principal
American School of Sofia

“I have been telling everyone that Community Works Institute was the PERFECT professional development for me. It’s true. This was the best example I have yet seen of going from theory to actual practice. You have given us real tools , time, and advice on how to make the ideas actually work. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Jennifer Sertel
Outreach Director
Robert College, Istanbul

“CWI gives participants a solid base in understanding service-learning as an approach to arrive at more sustainable communities. The instructors really made quality time for participants. The team approach kept us focused, invigorated, intrinsically motivated and energized,”
Nicole Whelan
IB/CAS and S-L Coordinator
American School of the Hague
The Netherlands

“An extremely useful week, full of great experiences to share.”
Dina Karam,
UNESCO, Regional Bureau for Education
Beirut, Lebanon

“Great opportunity to connect to other professionals. Very helpful in forming a clear vision of accomplishments through service-learning. The most significant piece was being able to figure out a vision for a whole school program.”
Michael Mackenna
Director of Social Responsibility
Fundacion Educativa Ingalterra
Bogata, Columbia

“I felt reaffirmed in my desire to create more links between our students and the Thai community around us. Thank you for a stimulating, thoughtful, and useful week. I learned a lot, met wonderful people, and had time to think and plan. I was inspired!”
Chris Tananone
Global Issues and Service Coordinator
International School of Bangkok

“We had a chance to work on our own ‘stuff’ and get feedback from wise professionals. Thank you for a great week! I look forward to working with you again soon!”
Megan Webster
High School Teacher
St. George's School
Montreal, Quebec

“This was truly an example of people who love and understand learning. How special to have been a part of it. Thank you!”
Erin Ruegg, Teacher
Colegio Jorge Washington
Columbia, South America

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I found CWI’s manual and templates to be very useful. These will be key tools for making recommendations to my administration in terms of important action steps, and in terms of documenting and evaluation our progress in integrating Service-learning.

I also appreciated the clarity with which place-based education, service-learning and sustainability were linked (as context, strategy, goal).”
Jill Stewart
Service-Learning Director
Upper Canada College Prep
Toronto, Ontario

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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