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CWI Summer Institutes 2014

Join with colleagues from across North America and beyond, working to embrace service-learning and sustainability. A week of support, inspiration, and collaboration.
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“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


EXPLORE THE ARCHIVES
a selection of past issues
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service learningREGISTER TODAY, SPECIAL RATES Through June 10th

Curriculum Planning, Teaching Tools, and Inspiring Collaboration
2014 SUMMER INSTITUTES for K-16 EDUCATORS
Place, Service-Learning, and Sustainable Communities
Los Angeles and Vermont
line
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Community Works Journal—Online Magazine for Educators




FEATURED ARTICLE
STEM In Action: A True Success Story

The job of educators is to prepare students to have a real impact on the world. Yet we rarely practice the necessary skills in school. The attributes of passion, problem solving, and perseverance are often absent. Often, our impact is not constrained by the students, but rather by educators and administration. What happens when students are posed with this assignment?: Complete a project that helps the school and community AND that project needs to have a true global impact. Amazing things happen. read more
FEATURED ESSAY
Finding the Whole Child in Education Reform

Imagine with me a school where students spend so much time outside and doing projects in the community and in their school garden that it is as if the walls of the building do not exist. There is an ebb and flow, where community members with valuable real life experience to share frequently come into the school, and students, wanting to learn about the society and nature around them, can often be found out beyond the classroom. No one can miss that these young people are fully engaged, that they appreciate the opportunities and nurturing afforded them. read more
OF PLACE AND EDUCATION
Taking the Classroom to the Forest


As academic expectations in schools become more demanding, some educators have turned to the outdoors as a means of providing meaningful, relevant, and tangible experiences for their students. The Forest Kindergarten movement, which has taken hold in Europe over the past 30 years, takes a very different approach towards early childhood education. Their conviction is that this real world experience will provide the confidence, resilience and perseverance that are the foundation for increased motivation and improved academic performance. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
Creative Institutional Partnerships That Enhance Experiential
Learning in Times of Crisis


There is great untapped potential for international schools to develop dynamic experiential learning programs in partnerships with a variety of institutions, including lNGO’s, multinational corporations, and an often overlooked set of institutions: local or national governments. These partnerships provide students with valuable opportunities for experiential learning and have a very positive impact on partners and their constituents, enhancing the school’s image in the community, and reinforcing the value placed on such programs within the school—a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle. read more
institute
EVENTS—PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Summer Opportunities and MoreSPACE IS LIMITED learn more
Don't miss Community Works Institute's annual series of professional development events for 2014. Limited space exists for CWI's Summer EAST and WEST Institutes on Service-Learning. Join with educators from across the U.S. and around the world for a week of learning, exploration, and practical curriculum design. A perfect way for individual educators and teams to deepen their use of service-learning and sustainability, both in the classroom and program wide. These are best practice based events and appropriate for K-16 and community educators, and administrators. read more
Kale, Students, and Empathy: The Realities of Service-Learning

The realities of the project differed from the ideas I had in the beginning. Admittedly, I had a grandiose idea that everyone on the project would immediately be engaged, and families would leave the program inspired to start gardens and cook healthy and nutritious meals. The project did not follow those ideas exactly and required me to change my approach, assumptions, and measures of success. I am very aware of some media reports indicating that this generation is only out to serve themselves. I have read reports that describe this age group as being concerned only with their mobile devices and life in a very insular world. In my experience, this is not true. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
An A for Effort? Grading Grades in the 21st Century


What we believe to be objective assessment often has more to do with how much a student has been able to retain for each test than what has been truly and indelibly learned. We don’t have to look any further than the functional illiterates who have “graduated” from high school in our current system to convince ourselves of that. Or we could look at a less harsh example, and ask ourselves how much high school Spanish we can actually use as adults. Or even more probingly, we can ask why, if we truly learn what we’re taught in high school, can’t every high school teacher teach every high school subject?  Maybe we don’t objectively learn the things that we have earned our “objective” good grades on. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
T he GrEAU Project: A Student Run Hydroponics Business

GrEAU, which is French for water, is hydroponic based agricultural business founded and run by the students of Mecatina School, a small school located in La Tabatiere, a village on the Lower North Shore of Quebec. At Mecatina School in Tabatiere, students have built a hydroponic garden using cost and energy efficient methods, in order to supply the isolated community with fresh produce. “We started brain storming in early November,” said Christopher Wong, the Science and Technology teacher. It began when three of his students wanted to enter the Quebec Entrepreneurial Contest. Their goal was to create a business that applied the technology and science concepts they had learned in class with their desire to improve their community. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
Teaching for Sustainability on the Bayou


Because higher education prepares most of the professionals who lead and influence society, Nicholls State University is making significant efforts to accelerate the process of providing the knowledge and graduates necessary to meet the great human challenge of sustainability. The seniors involved in the Making Waves along the Bayou Service-Learning Project are saving their precious bayou while learning about service, sustainability, and in particular, environmental protection. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
In Point Breeze, Redemption For A Park

The most striking feature of the park is a wall that displays the names of people who have been affected by acts of violence. It is an evocative backdrop that challenges the neighborhood to overcome its history. On July 12, 1988, 7-year-old Ralph Brooks Jr. was running toward his grandmother’s house on 20th Street near Dickinson in South Philadelphia when a bullet hit him from behind, severing his spinal cord. Today, Brooks is remembered by a local basketball park a block away at 20th and Tasker Streets that was named after him, as his story, over time, has severely impacted the surrounding neighborhood. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
Art By All Means: Revisiting the Legacy of Malcolm X


There is a point in life when you feel the ground shift under your feet. It doesn’t happen in the same way or at the same time for anyone, but it does change the way you look at the world.Recently, my 8th grade International Studies II Majors completed a month-long unit about the continent of Africa, its many countries, landforms, cultures and languages with a direct connection to the city in which they live—Omaha, Nebraska through the life story of Malcolm X, who was born here. Students listened to some of his speeches, some of his interviews and examined his quotes. read more
FEATURED ESSAY
The Aerial Classroom: Views from Above

I worked recently with photographer Ken Abbott on a project called “Views From Above,” which teaches high school students in rural North Carolina, to observe their communities from a unique dual perspective: through interviews, photographic portraits, and landscapes completed in small towns and farms near their school; and also through aerial photographs taken with a balloon-and-camera rig the students put together. We have combined their work in a blog, as well as in presentations for the school and community. Following is an explanation by seniors Joshua Redwine and Hunter Powell, as well as sample aerial photography from the project. read more
LEARNING TO LOVE EDUCATION AGAIN
School Behind the Mangroves: On Causing No Harm


We are heading out to a distant point where the surf breaks along a long, clean punta, and all the way along the shorelines look like impenetrably thick, green brush. Steering closer to shore, we eventually begin to notice occasional dark spots in the mangroves and, closer still, they appear as tiny, green, creek mouths, slight inlets big enough for a few dugout canoes. And now closer still, perhaps a small dock, maybe a few little ones doing flips off the ends of them, running and chasing. The Ngöbe kids of the Bahia Honda off Bocas del Toro on the northeastern corner of Panama are waiting for a ride to school. read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
Finding the Words: A Visit with Naomi Shihab Nye

There was an openness that suggested possibility and hope, secrets revealed. And the poems were glorious. Her simplicity, her seeming lack of mystery, belie, I suspect, the decades she has committed to the craft of writing poetry. She wears her expertise lightly; it feels homey, as if one could make a poem as easily as one makes a project on Saturday morning at the kitchen table with glitter, glue, some uncooked pasta and construction paper. And then she said it. “Grown ups,” she said, “have a way of talking themselves out of the things they want to do.” read more
FEATURED ESSAY
Encountering Self and Other in Community-Based Education

Place-based and community-based educators are united in our efforts to break down the barriers between classrooms and communities—to ground education in experiential, student-centered encounters with the social and natural world. We work to enrich, and perhaps transform, our students’ understandings of history, society, literature, the arts, and the physical sciences by helping them engage with what Michael Umphrey calls simply “the world outside the window”. On this I think we all agree. But a number of important questions remain: What, exactly, should we encourage our students to look for outside the classroom window? read more

FEATURED ARTICLE
Real World, Real Solutions: Finding Shared Purpose in Cairo
Students enhance the specific learning outcomes of a course through delivering a service, defined and evaluated by the community. They expand course-related knowledge and develop the skills of problem solving, critical and creative thinking, communication and teamwork. The communities benefit from student expertise, skills and creative energy. The relationship is not hierarchical with privileged students from an elite institution helping a disadvantaged community. Rather, it is a partnership of shared power, benefit and resources.” read more
FEATURED ARTICLE
Improving Test Scores Through a Community Focused Education


My life as a teacher began with a hidden agenda. Today, nearly forty years later, I am teaching social studies at a middle school and my agenda is still being followed, but no longer hidden thanks to the many teachers and organizations who have found that the community and the students need not be mutually exclusive. My students have been involved in countless other activities to educate and improve the conservation of resources. (with significantly improved test scores) read more
flint
FEATURED ARTICLE
Grow a-Way from Violence: Nurturing Community in the Heart
of One of America’s Most Violent Cities

The first year that we moved Heirloom Peace Gardens to Flint, Michigan brought extraordinary results. As the corn grew taller and the whole garden more lush, more and more people stopped by to ask questions. I’d often come home and tell my wife that as much “people gardening” happened as tending of the plants that day. They were very impressed, full of questions, and we often had long conversations about the project. read more
service learning
FEATURED ARTICLE
Creating Positive LGBTQ Visibility in the Borderlands: 
An Overview of the Frontera Pride Film Festival


We envisioned a student run film festival that would focus on the LGBTQ community to “Build Bridges across Borders” that activated an intersectional concept of identity, not simply an appreciation of diversity informed by race/ethnicity or sexual orientation or gender identity. We wanted viewers to understand that many challenges that affect people with non-traditional gender identities and sexual orientations also pertain to other marginalized groups. We envisioned the festival as an opportunity for open and affirming organizations to work together for a positive goal. read more

MORE! Essays l Articles l Institute Reflections l Resource Reviews l Literacy Corner l Upcoming Events





service learningREGISTER TODAY, SPECIAL RATES Through July 10th

Curriculum Planning, Teaching Tools, and Inspiring Collaboration
2014 SUMMER INSTITUTES for K-16 EDUCATORS
Place, Service-Learning, and Sustainable Communities
Los Angeles and Vermont
line
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Community Works JournalOnline Magazine for Educators
A Network of Support for Engaged Educators • communityworksjournal.org
Community Works Journal is a publication of Community Works Institute (CWI)
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REPRODUCTION POLICY: Material contained within this website may not be reused or reprinted, in part or in whole, in any form, without written-email approval from Community Works Institute. We do often approve requests for re-publication of selected articles and essays from Community Works Journal, provided that a link and proper citation and credit information is given. If you are interested in re-publishing an article or essay please email us to request approval.

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Community Works Journal's publication has been made possible, in part, through grants from The Corporation for National Service, The Thompson Trust, The Bay and Paul Foundations, and with support from Shelburne Farms and our other sponsors. Community Works Journal also depends on the generous donations of our individual contributors. Community Works Journal is published by Community Works Institute (CWI). Find out how you can become a supporter of Community Works Institute.

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"Transformative work! 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 School
Chicago, Illinois


CWI Summer Institutes 2014

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Institute on Service-Learning
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