service learning


CWI’s Summer Institutes on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability for K-16 Educators

FULL Scholarships for Program-Team Leaders
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Design powerful community focused learning projects that integrate academic content and skills with key social emotional intelligence goals.


“This was life changing. I am invigorated to go back to my university and plant the seed of place based service-learning. I now want to be a cheerleader at my university for place based service-learning!
This was so much more hands-on than any workshop I have ever attended.”
Leah Barfield, Academic Project Manager
School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences
The University of Texas at Dallas

CWI’s 2019 Summer EAST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

The longest running Place Based Service-Learning Institutes for educators in the world, Summer EAST is a powerful learning lab for educators, set in the heart of the uniquely diverse social fabric that is Brooklyn. Experience a week of inspiration, expert training, and powerful collaborations with an exceptional group of colleagues. Join like minded K-16 and community educators from across the U.S. and beyond for a week to remember.

CWI’s 2019 Summer WEST Institute on Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability

Bring your vision, program and project ideas to CWI’s acclaimed learning and design lab for Place Based Service-Learning. Summer WEST is set in Los Angeles, one of the world’s most vibrant, culturally rich urban settings. Join us for a transformative week of program design, expert training and guidance, field work, and inspired networking. Experience a community of practice that moves your work forward. Bring yourself or a team.

“The Place Based Service-Learning development our educators experienced
through CWI and Joe Brooks was truly transformational at Mulberry
School. CWI provides a pragmatic and focused vision, using powerful and
reflective exercises to help propel a school’s best practices and
curriculum forward
Jane Murphy, Head of School,
Mulberry School, Silicon Valley, California

Our Areas of  Interrelated Focus Include
Place Based Service-Learning
Student Voice • Social and Emotional Skills • Reciprocity • Social Justice • Global Citizenship • Sustainable Communities • STEM • Creating School Wide Buy-In • Transdisciplinary Themes • Exploring Local Culture and History • PBL Connections • Meaningful Reflection • Collaborative Ethnography as a Tool for Service • Gardens and Nutrition • Participatory Art • Building Successful Long Term Programs

CWI’s Summer EAST and WEST Institutes are guided by CWI founder Joe Brooks, a veteran K-16 educator, former public school teacher, and internationally recognized expert in Place Based Service-Learning. Joe leads site based workshops, retreats, and local Institutes for K-16 schools around the world, along with our flagship Summer EAST and WEST Institutes. He channels his extensive experience drawn from three decades in the field, into the Institute process. Joe brings a deep personal passion for local learning and partnerships into a doable process that helps schools build deeper lasting curriculum and programs, from vision to planning to action. Joe will be joined at the Institute by fellow veteran educator-innovators from K-16 classrooms and programs. email Joe

A Unique Professional Experience

Since 1995, educators from across the U.S. and around the world have gathered at CWI’s Summer Institutes on Place Based Service-Learning in Los Angeles and Brooklyn. The Institutes form a powerful professional learning community, immersed in developing Place Based Service-Learning and Sustainability projects and curriculum. The Institutes provide a rich collegial environment for professional learning, problem solving, project planning, and inspiring support for your own project or program. Participants also have the opportunity through field based work to gain powerful new skills for use in local community exploration with their own students.

Each year, our Institute community of participants includes a highly diverse group of K-16 teachers and administrators, from schools large and small, rural and urban, independent and public, along with community based educators.

CWI Summer Institutes are appropriate for both veteran practitioners and “beginners.” We emphasize strategies that create deep faculty, student, and community buy-in, with an eye toward high impact on learning and long term program success.

Teaching for Empathy, Developing Global Citizens
CWI Institutes are about connecting core 21st Century academic and social emotional skills with compelling student-centered Place Based Service-Learning projects. We promote teaching for empathy by designing powerful community focused learning experiences. The Institute provides expert training, experienced guidance and support, with inspired collaboration. A core part of the Institute includes interactive sharing of experienced best practice, blended with cohort learning, designed to create a community of practice.

“The Institute was beyond my expectations! Our participation in your institute has been invaluable to us.  We feel that we (and our students) have greatly benefited from it already, and we still have many more learnings and ideas to implement.”
Jane Jack, Small Learning Communities Director
Decatur Central High School Choice Academy
Indianapolis, Indiana

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