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

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Summer WEST Institute
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 Colleges and Universities

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

“Experienced, accomplished, articulate and eager to share with others. You were very flexible and patient despite great demands on your time and energy. I recommend CWI! Anyone interested in employing service-learning as a tool would benefit from the framework, practical applications, examples and individual discussions of project plans.”
Pieranna Pieroni, College Now Director
Brooklyn College, NYC

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)

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.

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.

“Community Works Institutes are among the best professional development opportunities to prepare teachers for deep community engagement and democratic teachings. I'm thankful for the passion and quality Joe brings to make us all better people and better educators.”
James C. Toole, Senior Fellow, University of Minnesota
President, Compass Institute

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 school 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 College and University 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 you 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—where you are—helping to align your goals with concrete outcomes that faculty, students, and parents will engage with and support.

Developing Short and Long Term Professional Development Plans
We provide onsite 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. Colleges and universities 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 staff and 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
Visits to 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.

Planning and Development Sessions
Our planning sessions provide a coached opportunity for staff, faculty 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 Schools
We work with colleges and universities to create intensive multi-day institutes. These institutes incorporate your priorities and existing initiatives within a strategic approach to community engagement and service-learning. Our experience teaches us that truly effective institutes and PD events require a coaching and consultation component.

Service-Learning and Community Engagement
With its emphasis on real world application and problem solving, Service-Learning is one of the finest ways to fully engage students in meeting campus goals for "community engagement" and practical application of learning. The schools that we work with move well beyond "community service" as an extra curricular approach, pursuing a path that builds deeply meaningful classroom based partnerships between faculty, students, and local partners.

“I will always be grateful for my training with CWI. Your team of experts in the field of Service-Learning gave me the foundation, and exemplary best practices needed to build sustainability for our program.”
Amelia Ross-Hammond
Professor of Music
Director of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement
Norfolk State University

“The philosophy of community engagement and shared authentic assessment is revolutionary.”
Lance Langdon
Literature and Composition
University of California, Irvine

"I can't over state the importance of this event to my vision and enthusiasm for taking Community Arts Service-Learning, way beyond its current status on campus."
Julie Metzler, Director
Kansas City Art Institute
Kansas City, Missouri

 “Workshops did what they said they’d do!. I learned much from all the different perspectives shared!"
Kim Shaver
English Instructor
Service-learning Director
University of Louisville

“I met some great people and learned a ton. Thank you for all your hard work! I would highly recommend to someone who is trying to start a program.”
Erin Sanborn
Director of Service-Learning
University of Redlands, CA

“The facilitators had a very high level (and passionate) understanding and practical application. I will use CWI’s Site Level Plan going forward. I really benefited from the week, and I am excited about developing and implementing the Site Level Plan. I am reenergized to deepen the work through co-constructed evaluation and assessment.”
Monica Ways,
Director of Community Engagement and Service
Miami University of Ohio

“Superb! You are truly experts. I am renewed in my choice to teach with service-learning. The most significant point for me was having the Instructional Guide for Service-Learning. For me, as both a person and a teacher, CWI's Institute also meant a complete buy-in to education for sustainability.”    
Jami Spencer
Professor of English
Heartland College, Illinois

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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No material contained within this web site may be reproduced in print, by electronic
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