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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 U.S. Public Schools and Districts

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

“Thank you for working through this process with us. I look forward to the opportunities our staff has for a new level of collaboration. The most significant point was having guided time to problem solve with colleagues about a collaborative focus/vision for our campus.”
Robin Hawley, Teacher
Ashland School District, Oregon

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.

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 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

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.


On Site Faculty Support and Special 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 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 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. 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 project;
• Create a plan that incorporates service-learning into their teaching;
• Implement a high quality project for diverse types of learners;
• Build a collaborative and student voice driven learning environment;
• Create reflective activities that are responsive to a variety of learning styles;

The facilitators were exceptional and inspirational! I am more focused and have a better understanding of service-learning….”
Elizabeth Koehler, Elementary Teacher
McComb Public Schools, Mississippi

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 Consultations and Planning Sessions
service learningVisits 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 from the classroom to the campus.

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 Schools
We work with local 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" (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


"I will use this process and knowledge to change how our school gets students involved in their community. I found myself becoming even more determined about the role that service-learning can have in our school. Thank you for taking a leadership role.”
Vernita Vallez, Principal
Inter-American Magnet
Chicago, Illinois

“What I got was for more than I hoped for. It was too valuable to have missed. I think of the week as the first step in a fantastic adventure. Thank You!”
Mary Drexler, Teacher
Hamilton Terrace HS
Shreveport, Lousiana

“Wow—what an experience! I feel thrilled to be able to participate and feel privileged to be in the presence of such brilliant and caring people.

I absolutely would recommend the Institute—tremendous setting, group dynamics, facilitators, and talented people. The Institute is so much more in-tune with the adult learner who needs time to ‘listen’, ‘do’, and ‘reflect’. I am taking back so much knowledge, info, and the essence of service-learning and sustainability."
Diane Reilly, Principal
Grand Island School District

“It was a highly educational and life-changing experience! Something that will stand out in my mind as a cherished memory! The passion and awareness the faculty (and participants) have for their calling in life was the most significant aspect of the week. The faculty has an excellent and wide range of expertise. They we were tremendously flexible and available."
Barbara Huffstutler
Service Learning Facilitator
Polk County School District

“I would recommend the Institute for teachers and administrators interested in bringing service-learning into the classroom. I have now decided to incorporate service-learning into the upcoming school year!”
Carly Chavez,
HS Science Teacher
Fontana Unified School Dist.
Fontana, California

“I learned more than I ever anticipated and look forward to moving ahead in my own program and in my school.  I have been truly enriched by the experience. THANK YOU!!”
Susan Kirkland
Vocal/Choral Teacher
New Providence HS
New Jersey

“I came expecting knowledge and I am leaving with passion!"
Ray Dumais
Service-Learning Director
Goffstown High School
New Hampshire

“What you are doing is wonderful! The Institute encompassed community building within itself while presenting the knowledge and understanding of service-learning. Working with the Institute’s best practice study groups I was able to share my vision and acquire input from dynamic individuals. Thank you!”
Iyaunna Towery
Middle Grades Teacher
Los Angeles, California

“This has been the best Institute! The facilitators were all great, very accomplished and will do anything for you. I really can’t compare it to anything. I’m excited to start my 40th year of teaching!”
Courtney Van Kleeck,
Social Studies Teacher
Colchester High School,

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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