banner
donate






FEATURED ARTICLES

Imagining the Possible, Then Making it Happen
By PAULA COHEN
Most of my teaching career, I have defied the book. I’ve strived to put learning in context, connect students to issues in the community and make learning as relevant a process as I can. Meanwhile I work hard at helping students reach mastery and upholding the great standards. I signed a contract after all. It is always a great juggling act and way more work than following the “book” or program. The accomplishments do feel great, but there is always this sense that there wasn’t enough time or fluidity in the project. It could have been so much more if it didn’t have to have such a premature ending. read more
classroom blogging
THE ART OF SEEING
Blogging Our Way to Cultural Understanding
By SYLVIE DEBEVEC HENNING and LUCI FERNANDES
Share the experience of two educators who are using classroom based blogging to deepen understanding, raise important questions, and ultimately as a tool to build classroom community. Blogging leads to more than simple interaction. It leads to a collaborative relationship because students are engaged in purposeful discourse, as they share their own reflections on what they have learned as well as their own perceptions and insights. In this way they construct meaning and validate each other’s understanding. read more
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES from CWI
Re-Inspire Your Curriculum This Year
EARLY BIRD RATES IN EFFECT
Don't miss Community Works Institute's annual series of professional development events. Limited space remains for CWI's 2018 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
social action
Contemporary Social Issues Through Multicultural Story Sharing
By BRENDA BECK
An experiment in accessing the power of Story Telling for learning at multiple levels simultaneously. In multi-ethnic settings. we badly need to develop new ways of teaching about cross-cultural living. To succeed in this requires great sensitivity and understanding on the part of our school teachers and administrators. In the author’s view, multicultural storytelling, when done in a dense and discovery-filled way, can provide teachers with an excellent tool kit for this. read more
smithsonian
Experiencing Culture from the Inside Out
By BETTY BELANUS
As Erica and Tiffany took on such tasks as translating the origin myth of a remote Amazonian community from Spanish to English, gaining permission to use photos from a surfing competition utilizing traditional reed boats, and trying to figure out how many stories from the ground a suspension bridge made of local Andean grasses would be, the interns gained an intimate, albeit long distance, relationship with various facets of Peruvian culture and history. read more
sustainability
Re-Imagining Our Identity Through a Sustainability Class
By MARGARET PERROW, with RYAN KING
“This is my job,” he says. “I team with students to compress global issues down to their local relevance. I guide instruction by intuition rather than institution. The students inform me. I am constantly asking: What do you want to learn about this issue?  How can we work together to envision solutions and imagine possibilities? Will we be active participants or passive bystanders in our community, our environment? And I’m constantly amazed at what can happen when I get out of the way and let students take charge of their own learning.” read more
map
On The Road to Find Out: Passionate Engagement and Counter-Cartography
By BRAD HOUK
“I’m creating counter-maps....” “What-maps? You have to explain this counter-stuff,” said Troy, genuinely curious but noticeably skeptical. “Counter-maps are maps not done by states or powerful institutions." I said. "Not government offices or banks or corporations. Not those guys watching us,” I said gesturing toward the police in the street. “Counter-maps are art-maps or protest-maps made by the people, for the people, as in groups, or communities, or individuals. read more
service learning
Intergenerational Learning: The Great Migration
By MAUREEN BOYLE and PATRICIA MCPHERSON
Our students’ exposure to the black community in Brockton was predominantly shaped through service projects. They learned in the classroom about poverty and went to the city next door to help. Most of the people they were helping or studying were individuals of color—and poor. What the students were missing were the stories of the American blacks in the community who struggled and prospered, who valued education, whose children graduated college and rose through the ranks of government and businesses. Students needed to hear how hard it was succeed, how easy it would have been to give up and how failure wasn’t an option. read more
service-learning
Voice and Vision: How Girls Learn to Lead and Resist Leading
By ANN KLOTZ
Claiming one’s voice is to leadership what steel beams are to construction—the beams support the structure. In the same way, the ability to imagine and convey one’s vision is essential for leaders. I worry that in many school communities the term “leadership” has become a catch-all; I’d like us to deconstruct the term, to parse it so that girls understand there are many ways to lead. Perhaps one non-negotiable is that great leaders know how to communicate effectively. They also share a willingness to initiate, to inspire, to listen closely and to follow through. At Laurel, we view school as a crucible in which girls develop voice, vision, and the ability to practice components of leadership. read more
service-learning
Service-Learning With Jailed Partners: Overcoming Negative Stereotypes
By DONNA DUFNER, JUDITH MONARREZ DIAZ-KELSEY,
and PAMEL ASHLEY
A story of an unusual and innovative service-learning partnership that has been sustained for ten years and designed specifically as a collaborative educational experience for local jail inmates and students, and not as a research project. From this long term partnership valuable lessons were learned in building sustainable service-learning courses and the use of quality service-learning practice. Along the way, some unexpected but heartwarming results appeared for all participants including the instructors. read more
Teenagers Finding the Learning Path
By MICHELLE HOWARD
Would you anticipate finding any good news from a Google search of "teenagers in America"? Not one of the top results for that particular search string yield good news. Key words include: “stressed, broken, performing poorly." The central psychological task, it seems, of adolescence is to develop independence. In contrast, according to the not-so-secret life of the American teenager as described by our popular media, it seems, is to extend childhood, avoid the work and responsibility required to gain that independence, and focus instead on developing social networks and consumer/viewer habits. While being simultaneously stressed and bored and racing to nowhere. read more
THE ART OF SEEING
Discovering Community Through Visual Anthropology: A Student Project
By LUCI FERNANDES
As a cultural anthropologist who has lived and done field work in collectivist societies of Latin America, I was eager to have my students develop an understanding of the importance of community and an appreciation of the diversity of communities that coexist and interact in any given location. As a visual anthropologist and an ethno- photographer, I also wanted them to learn how to use the camera, both still and motion, to document the various aspects of these communities and to provide means for members of these communities to articulate their cultures and present them to others. read more
The Physics of Humanity and the Power of Student Exhibition
By JONATHAN STABLEFORD
I had seen this classroom before—lab tables with students working independently or in small groups, the clutter of work-in-progress, laptops open and running, a bicycle propped in the corner—but today when I approached and looked through the panel of glass, it was all in medias res. I checked my watch and saw I was neither early nor late. I opened the door and immediately felt like I was like entering a theater through the backstage. People streamed in after me, and gradually the room filled with students and a few adults. There were chairs arranged in a small arc facing a screen and, behind that, the whiteboards. read more
The Little Things: Uncovering Identity on Campus through Dress and Adornment
By CARRIE HERTZ
The class chose to tackle this topic by focusing on the student body, a constituency that the museum has struggled to engage over the years. Inspired by readings that explore the complex relationships that people form with objects, they wanted to ask their fellow students about what items of dress and adornment best encapsulate their identity. After a crash course in interview techniques and fieldwork ethics, each student set out to record conversations on this issue with at least five students by the next class. Each week they returned to the group with reports of their progress in recording new interviews and to ask for help. read more
Reducing Diabetes Through Creative Community Building
By LUCI FERNANDES, SHAHNA ARPS, and RICARDO CONTRERAS
Diabetes currently represents an urgent health problem among Latinos. The National Alliance for Hispanic Health estimates that one in ten Hispanics in the United States is living with diabetes. Creative community building offers, we believe, a means of helping individuals and communities look within at their strengths, assets and resources. It also provides strategies for developing the kinds of collaboration that can shape the vibrant and successful communities in which people want to live, work, and play. Accessible and relevant healthcare is essential to such communities. read more
Establishing Deeper Partnerships Between College and K-12
By ANNE SEBANC and KATHY BARLOW
Our successful 3.5 year service learning project began when one of us reached out to a local principal to see if her school could benefit from Whittier College students teaching physical education (PE). I was already teaching the undergraduate course entitled Movement in Elementary School PE, which had a service learning component, but my students were teaching PE at a different school with a higher socioeconomic status and significantly more resources for PE. Through a variety of encouragements by our Dean and community organizers who were focused on a low SES neighborhood near the college, I was able to move my students to the needier school. read more
Taking Hands On Civics to the Street
By SARAH ANDERSON
The charter school where I teach has three areas of focus: environmental science, civics and art. Prospective parents know what environmental science and art look like, but the civics piece seems more of a mystery. Civics, as a subject, can trigger a glazed-over look in people’s eyes—it is associated with mandatory classes in high school where students memorize excerpts of the Constitution. Many people think of civics as the “study of government.” But, by definition, civics is the study of what it means to be a citizen- the rights and duties of citizenship. Noting the differences is essential in how we teach civics and raise citizens. read more
THE ART OF SEEING
Visual Anthropology as a Road Into Experience
By LUCI FERNANDES
Luci Fernandes, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist whose research focus is on documenting daily life through audio/visual mediums. She and her students are document life ways in Eastern North Carolina, where she lives and teaches anthropology courses for East Carolina University. Her aim in to highlight everyday people, their joys and struggles to connect people in their human experience. Luci will be sharing her work and K-16 applicable ideas regularly with Community Works Journal readers. read more
It’s Your Community, It’s Your Message: A Teacher’s Reflection
By KATE MAGSAMEN-CONRAD
Even when I was a college student, I am not sure I ever really understood “typical” college students. When I was in graduate school, I worked on a media literacy grant funded by the national institute of drug abuse. As I studied community based participatory research and action research frameworks, I kept thinking about how health campaigns and interventions, those designed for college students in particular, are generally the brainchild of a researcher who, just possibly, like myself had never really understood typical college students. read more
Connecting Biology, Service-Learning and Youth Awareness
By RATNA GUPTA
I do not think I will be able to tell this story without admitting that I am an absolute novice to service learning pedagogy and have no experience in any community service. It took more than a semester and numerous discussions with our service learning director, Dr. Reddix for me to decide that I will try using this pedagogy in teaching general biology II course. I searched for a pedagogy, which could help our students retain the information, attain meaningful learning, as well as relate to the material covered in this course. Thus, I decided to integrate Service-Learning into this course where students could learn the material and teach high school students, with the focus on how different organisms are involved in diseases process. read more
Connecting Business Education, Students with Disabilities, and the Community
By JOANNE CANIGLIA
As I described the project to my pre-service special education students, I knew what my goals for the class would be. Above all, I wanted them to assist the Transition students in all aspects of the project and to allow the Transition students to “take the lead” in developing roles and responsibilities for their particular team. Five teams in all would choose a leader and create job descriptions. read more
Where Have All The Sharks Gone? A Teen Led Ecological Literacy Project
By JOE HARBER
On a warm humid afternoon in July, ten teenagers rollout of a white cargo van in front of an Enoch Pratt library branch in Baltimore City. Without being told, they unload a bag of costumes, several props, a backdrop, and a cooler of seawater and live animals and lug them inside the library’s air-conditioned auditorium. Like clockwork the teens set up the backdrop, arrange props, get into costumes and wait. Within a few minutes over 100 children, families and adults file in and take seats on chairs or crisscross applesauce-style on the floor. The play is about to begin. read more
The Environmentalist’s Bath: Turning Frustrations Into Opportunities for Student Learning
By KELLY DAGAN and KATIE BRUNK
The goal of the trip was for our students to learn more about poverty and homelessness through service. To prepare for our service experience, we provided them with data about hunger and homelessness. we wanted our students to think about and discuss issues like the extent of hunger/homelessness, the daily struggle of hunger and homelessness, what type of help is available, what type of help is still unavailable, questioning the causes of the problems, questioning the extent to which all service is useful, and examining individual motivations for serving. read more
The Power and Wonder of Names: Where Nature and Language Coincide
By KARY SCHUMPERT
We spent a week exploring biomes. We wrapped ourselves in the language of names and natural history to guide us. We turned to field guides and leaf rubbings, we looked for similarities and distinguishing features. We started to open our eyes and really began to look. The names tumbled all around me, like droplets in a light summer rain. Some I caught, others whizzed by, but always I was comforted in the names. What is human in us is the ability to point and look and name. Language separates us, but ultimately joins us in that tight connection all around. read more
Digital Native, Meet Digital Immigrant
By KATE MAGSAMEN-CONRAD
I anticipated that the project would help older adults improve their technology skills and younger adults reduce ageist attitudes. I did not realize the depth of relationship building that would occur between the groups. student shared in her journal: “Overall, I really enjoyed our experience at the Senior Center yesterday. I am really enjoying the patience and understanding that I am continuously gaining through my interactions with the senior citizens. They truly are a highlight of my week." read more
STEM In Action: A True Success Story
By SCOTT ANDERSON
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
Creative Institutional Partnerships That Enhance Experiential Learning in Times of Crisis
By MARTA VERNET and ROBIN BERTING,
AMERICAN SCHOOL OF BARCELONA
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. Establishing these partnerships not only provides students with valuable opportunities for experiential learning; it can also have a very positive impact on partner institutions 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
Developing Relationships through Service-Learning in Belize
By MARY MOELLER
Jeff, an undergraduate in construction management major, chose a personal learning goal of identifying “different construction methods and how to apply them as a construction manager; how to be more effective with the tools we have.”  However, he ended up learning about relationship building as well. In his post-trip reflection, Jeff wrote about digging a trench for a fence: “It was a great experience though to watch those two guys work through a problem with a language barrier.  It makes me realize that sometimes, I get too impatient when I don't understand someone's idea even without a language barrier. read more
Kale, Students, and Empathy: The Realities of Service-Learning
By ELISE C. LEWIS
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
Teaching for Sustainability on the Bayou
By CATHLEEN BECNEL RICHARD
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
The 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
In Point Breeze, Redemption For A Park
By JESSIE FOX
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
An A for Effort? Grading Grades in the 21st Century
By MARK JACOBS
We should acknowledge that 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
Art By All Means: Revisiting the Legacy of Malcolm X
By MELISSA KANDIDO
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
Creating a Great School Family Night with Graduate School Partners
By BARBARA FLOM
Our partnership family nights have included rousing successes and mildly embarrassing flops. Memories deliver general impressions, but archival data such as brainstorming lists, master planning schedules, committee reports, evaluation surveys, and compiled observations reveal more clearly what has worked and failed over the years. ur grad school/grade school partnership began six years ago with an invitation from the elementary school. Course evaluations show the family night project often named as the best part of the supporting graduate course. read more
Finding the Words: A Visit with Naomi Shihab Nye
By ANN V. KLOTZ
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
Departing and Returning: Charting the Heroes' Journey
By PATTI POWELL
Helen Keller once said, “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.” Living in a land of perpetual sunshine the shadows cross my path and often go unnoticed, I’m so enjoying the sunshine. Yet the shadows are there and are a necessary part of my experience…perhaps even the most important part. For it is in the shadows that growth often occurs.  And what are those shadows? But is living in the shadows a bad place to be…now? I don’t think so since so much change, inspiration and awareness often comes in times of shadows. read more
Becoming a Center for Parent Learning
By BOB SORNSON
And that was when I began to love this woman. Sure, she was angry and inappropriate, but can you imagine the bravery it takes to come to a parenting training with feelings of inadequacy and distrust? Can you imagine telling the world your tiny little boy is so angry that he urinates against the door to get his way? My heart went to her like a magnet. Maybe it was empathy. Maybe I sensed that she was struggling with all her might to find a way to raise her boy to be a wonderful man. read more
Learning Language with Context and Purpose
By MARINA FALASCA
Studying far away from their home countries and cultures, ESL learners must not only struggle to keep up with the high-level assignments, quizzes, mid-terms and finals that every student faces, but they must also overcome homesickness and culture shock. Many programs focus on worksheet and short meaningless, scripted conversations between people who are struggling to learn a new language. What is worse, they hardly ever address meaningful environmental, economic, and social problems. Consequently, ESL college graduates often fail to meet the rigors of academia while they are also denied the possibility of fostering their civic responsibility. read more
Considering Commitment: Longevity, Excellency and Resilience
By VANCE VAUGHN
When I first saw Jim, he was walking down the hallway from the cafeteria headed back to his office. As he walked pass the library the librarian greeted him he was bombarded with what seemed like ten students. The students knew Jim well. They appeared to like him a lot. As I later discovered, it would be very difficult for anyone to not like Jim. His personality is easy going yet firm, and confident. His sense of openness and intelligence directed me to reflect and ponder over whether these character traits should be prerequisites to obtaining positions as superintendents. After all, whether superintendents like it or not, they are considered civic leaders and politicians, and are subject to unwarranted criticism by many. read more
Lessons of Reciprocity and Relationships
By ASHLEY FARMER-HANSON
As service learning coordinators and educators we are all proponents of experiential learning. We want our students to experience all five senses at the service site and we want them to leave the experience being able to apply the knowledge they learned in the classroom and visa versa. Every year I take students on service trips around the world and the site becomes my classroom. I have always struggled with helping them understand the difference between serving, and helping as a partner—along with what real relationships can mean. How do we make sure our students understand this? read more
Students Building a Lasting Trust in Texas
By K. SMITH, MD, ELIZABETH REIFSNIDER, RN,
Sr. PHYLIS PETERS, DC, and TINA CHAO, PA
As the students persisted and became better acquainted with the community, a different, more accurate picture emerged. As they later learned, a few years before a consortium of health science center scientists had targeted the community for a research study, a central component of which was blood assays of children to assess nutrient levels. The researchers intimated they would return to share results and remedy deficiencies but neither results nor remedies materialized The disappointed community was thus inclined to shun the students’ proffered help, fearing it would lead to further exploitation. read more
How Peacemaking Changed a School District
By CAROLYN SCHODT AND STACEY CRUISE
For decades, neighbors called John Paul Jones Middle School “Jones’ Jail.” Repeatedly disruptive student behavior made learning an everyday struggle for teachers and students. Abysmal reading scores were accompanied by rampant incidents involving weapons, serious physical assaults, drugs, and rape among the student body. At dismissal, police cars lined the campus perimeter to protect the neighborhood from an unruly rush of 800 students fleeing from the school. read more
Multilingualism and Multiculturalism in Preschool: Why We Teach
By SONIA NUNEZ and SHARON VERNER CHAPPELL
The story of a partnership between a university campus preschool and an elementary education professor concentrating on multilingual family-based, funds of knowledge in schools. The preschool teacher integrated the theme, “Growing up Bilingual in Sunshine Room” throughout the classroom and home-learning activities. This project helped us as teachers understand the ongoing, active efforts we must make as advocates and activists to reframe the role of language and culture in our lives. read more

Developing Empathy through Service-Learning
By NADINE DOLBY
It was starting to snow lightly as we gathered in the school entrance on a cold Saturday morning last January. There were about ten of us: myself—a professor at Purdue--a graduate teaching assistant, undergraduates, and committed volunteers from the local neighborhood association. Despite the snow, ice, wind, and cold, we were all determined to venture out for our first look at the neighborhood around the school: it was the beginning step in our community development project, and we all knew it was important. read more
Changing the Middle School Experience at East Hill Farm School
By KATHERINE P. COX
We had been searching for a farm trip for our students for a number of years,” she said, and were thrilled to learn of the East Hill Farm School programs. “Most farms are one-day workshops and we wanted the students to have a more realistic experience.  We felt it would be an excellent educational experience as well as provide students with a practical, hands-on opportunity to work cooperatively and responsibly on real-world tasks. The program provides a wealth of real-world tasks, from cleaning out stalls and milking cows, to feeding animals and repairing fences. read more
Real World, Real Solutions: Finding Shared Purpose in Cairo
By STAFF OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF 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
Giving Place a Voice: Teaching Students to Wake Up to Nature
By ROB HANSON
A hypocrite, that’s what I was. After years as an elementary teacher extolling the necessity of outdoor education, my students were rarely feeling the wind on their cheeks under my watch. Earlier, while teaching in northern California, I regularly led classes on explorations of California’s plants and animals in the Sierra foothills, the Pacific Coast, as well as coordinating a school-wide gardening project which became a model of science education in the region. I knew these lessons were the most powerful experiences I gave my students. So when I moved to the Green Mountains of Vermont I was confident that a good dose of my teaching would happen outside. read more
Improving Test Scores Through a Community Focused Education
By ALAN HASKVITZ
My life as a teacher began with a hidden agenda. Today, nearly forty years later I am now 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
Taking Steps for Change by Writing about the Environment
By ANN BOMBERGER
Contemplating issues like climate change, water pollution, and air quality is downright scary. The ability to make change in these areas is often out of any one individual’s hands. It’s very normal that students feel paralyzed at the thought of such topics and want to switch their attention to more comfortable realms like their friend’s romantic melodrama. service-learning teachers are familiar with these kinds of difficult conversations—whether it be about climate change, poverty, or something else.  We also know it is the combination of reflecting on these challenging issues and helping students take concrete steps for good that brings the power of service-learning. read more
Bringing Home the Civil Rights Movement
By SARAH ANDERSON
In its essence, isn’t history a collection of stories that can teach us about what it means to be human? To put this theory into practice, I decided to teach the Civil Rights Movement. Studying the Movement in college was a tremendously powerful experience and I began to think about how to impart its lessons of courage, compassion and perseverance to my classes. I found the story that unfolded was astonishing; Portland’s civil rights history was richer than I ever knew. read more 

Learning to Read Nature’s Book
By ALICIA CARROLL and BISSE BOWMAN
Golden leaves rustle gently as the breeze moves through the trees in our urban forest. The children are squatting in the deep green star moss, poking their small trowels underneath the moss with great care. Suddenly, a voice is raised in excitement, "Look what I found! What is it?” The excitement was catching. Children in urban settings often do not have access to firsthand experiences to regional flora and fauna in natural settings, and therefore find it difficult to feel truly connected to nature. read more

Global Citizenship: An Instructor’s Experience and Student Response
By ERIC LASSAHN
As the semester concludes, I have just finished teaching my section of Global Citizenship. This has been a very interesting experience in that I have not before led reflection among a group whose participants have not all experienced the same activity in the same time and place. Having just completed a self-designed course on reflection in the fall 2012 semester, I was eager to utilize some of my newly acquired knowledge. read more
service learning
Garbage as a Tool for Student Engagement in Service-Learning
By BRIAN THOMAS
I had a problem. As a sociologist, I wanted students to understand that their individual decisions were influenced by and also had an impact on larger social structures and the environment. What better way to solve both problems then to have students go dumpster diving weigh garbage as a service-learning project? I also use videos and movies prior to the Dumpster Dive to illustrate the idea of a consumer culture. For the introduction class, I simply focus on the relationship among a consumer culture, social class, and the environment. read more
james curiel
In Cairo: Breaking Old Molds Through Service-Learning
By JAMES CURIEL
You might be surprised by what can be achieved through service-learning in a foreign country under a military dictatorship with extreme censorship. I selected Manshiyyet Nasr as the community my Sociology of Inequality class would be working with to see if we could put our course concepts into action in the real world. Manshiyyet Nasr is home to approximately 17,000 Zabaleen, the Coptic Christians who earn their living by collecting trash. read more
service learning
Grow a-Way from Violence: Nurturing Community in the Heart of One
of America’s Most Violent Cities

By TIM and ELIZABETH COLLARDEY
The first year that we moved Heirloom Peace Gardens to Flint 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
Creating Positive LGBTQ Visibility in the Borderlands: An Overview
of the Frontera Pride Film Festival

By BRENDA RISCH
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
service learning
Putting Problem Solving at the Core of Place Based Service-Learning
By JONATHAN E. MARTIN
At City High School in Tucson educators gathered recently for deeper conversations. A t the heart was the question, how do we make it real?  How do we connect service-learning to genuinely meaningful, rich, situated community problems? How do we structure the experience of service-learning such that students are engaged, empowered, and motivated? How do we advance the possibilities that what they’re doing has an impact that is recognizable and rewarding? read more
service learning
Taking Note: Learning Lessons from Reflection
By MIKE MACKENNA
The first thing I needed to improve from last year was not planning the units carefully enough. Service learning units, like any other kind of units, are tricky because you want to have the flexibility to let students follow their ideas, but you still need to be conscious of the schedule and getting the assessments done on time. To make that improvement, this year I knew from the beginning what assessments the students were going to do and when they were going to do them. read more
service learning
A School Without Walls
By SAM MERZBACHER, AMY KITZ, AVERY FRIEDMAN,
and MATT HELLSTEN
School Without Walls has taught us so much as a class; the units we did as a group were powerful and meaningful, and will leave a lasting impression on all of us. They told us that in this class we are considered “guinea pigs,” so we have to build up this course to make it successful. Every day as a class we represent the School Without Walls course both in the hallways and around the community. read more
service learning
Rethinking Family Engagement: Hybrid Summer Camp Program
By JAMARA M. WAKEFIELD
The Boston Nature Center, like many out of school time provider’s, work under the constraints of limited resources. The increased demands to demonstrate outcomes to meet research guidelines presented by the funders can be challenging. Hence, engaging families may feel like an additional task in the face of other priorities. The AmeriCorps Summer Fellows recognized the importance of the task ahead and immediately identified several strengths of this community of students and staff. read more
service learning
Making Waves Along the Bayou: Service Learning and Career E-Portfolios
By CATHLEEN BECNEL RICHARD.
An unusual request was made of me one day. One of the archivists in Ellender Memorial Library contacted me asking for the help of my students in a very important project he was conducting entitled, “Oral History Collection on Veterans in Southeast Louisiana.” Budget cuts in higher education left him working on the massive project single-handedly. He agreed to work with me as a team teacher teaching the students involved the value of archives, how to conduct interviews and develop interview questions, and the transcription process. read more
service learning
Directing Social Responsibility: Candid Observations on the Job
By MIKE MACKENNA
My job is a mix of being a service learning coordinator and fundraising coordinator. I am the first person to have this job, which is exciting because I get to create it from scratch, but also difficult because, well, I get to create it from scratch. When I was thinking of the angle I wanted to take for this article, I thought I’d like to make a list of what I’ve learned to make me better at my job. Yes, this is a list of fairly obvious advice, but I’ve found those kinds of lists helpful for teaching advice read more
service learning
Medicine for an Educator
By LORI SUNTREE
Eight weeks into my teaching career, I stood in the middle of the faculty lounge wondering “how in the world did I think I could be a teacher?” Although being a teacher was a dream I had had since the first grade, not in my wildest dreams did I imagine the escapades of those first few months. I never anticipated that the first substitute teacher I would have would ask for the numbers of my fourteen year old female students. Nor did I think I would return to my classroom to find my second substitute teacher sleeping in the back of my classroom while my students were chasing each other with scissors and glue guns. read more
service learning
One School's Journey: Toward a Continuum of Service-Learning
By PATRICE BRYAN and MHS FACULTY
At Maplewood Richmond Heights High School (MRH) in St. Louis, Missouri, every school year starts with innovative professional development work over the summer--for teachers and students. Last summer a MHS’s faculty team attended CWI’s Summer Institute. After conversations with teachers from all over the country, we decided to focus on hunger. We’d design a system for our classes to better collaborate across content areas on a global and local hunger study AND design a new or improved system for the district’s existing food pantry program—two systems that need finessing. read more
frederick douglass
What’s So Great About Being Great? The Legacy of Frederick Douglass
Lives Through Vital Community Work

By KENNETH B. MORRIS, JR., with ROBERT J. BENZ
Recently, I was invited to speak at Yale University before a distinguished international audience of leading historians and the top anti-human trafficking activists. Humbling is the best way I can describe it. But, to say this was the path I had chosen may not be entirely accurate. In late 2005, my friend Robert Benz, showed me a National Geographic Magazine cover story called, 21st Century Slaves. When I read and absorbed it, the life I had lived for all of those years ended abruptly and I became an Abolitionist. Call it fate or fortune, destiny or DNA, I had, in fact, been chosen by this path. read more
service
The Motivation to Serve
By EDWIN BLANTON
I’d been through the tunnel countless times before. I knew its hot, stale air. I knew its crowdedness. I knew its posters for the latest Broadway shows. I was there in shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops with a twenty pound backpack that was killing my shoulders. I knew the saying on the crossbeams by heart “so tired…if late…get fired”. But this time through the tunnel on a late July afternoon was different. This time, I saw her. I saw her sitting there to my right up ahead, on the pavement. read more
autism
Beyond Words: The Beauty of Outdoor Education
By BETH KULINSKI
From an unconventional educator who founded a one of a kind school for unique students. Jordan Lake School of the Arts is a groundbreaking program that pairs nature and the arts to unlock and expand the gifts each student holds. Beth currently hosts a national radio show, Breathing Underwater: Stories of Autism. Here Beth shares here experiences with her students, each one of a kind. Some use few words. Some can become overstimulated by sensory input. Many find it hard to connect to people and make friendships. In the woods, by the lake, that seems to fall away. read more
service learning
Sustaining Service-Learning: Lessons From Two Decades of Change
By MARTHA RICH
Our service-learning experience provides our most compelling evidence that building professional community can make a difference in a school. While creating a collaborative culture for adults was an aim from the start of this decade of change, the emphasis on service-learning was not originally a goal. Over time, though, the principles and practices of this approach have emerged as a defining element in our ongoing change process. As we’ve sought to make professional collaboration a core experience for faculty, we’ve also sought to make service-learning a central experience for students. read more
social justice
Not a Chain Link or a Picket Fence: Social Justice Pedagogy in an Urban Garden Project
By TARA AFFOLTER
We hoped that the garden would offer a space for students to act upon the knowledge base they already had, thereby deepening it.  But what if our summer program became simply a five-week version of the strawberry compote demonstration, yet another place for the students to be introduced to an experience that someone from outside their world had decided was important for them?" read more

gardens
Can You Grow a Pizza? Big Questions in the Garden
By HEIDI REVELO
“Miss Heidi, can you grow a pizza?” asked 13-year-old Jenifer at the first Children’s Garden in Lexington, Nebraska. The sign stapled to the side of the garden box said “Pizza Garden” which was next to “Peter Rabbit Garden,” “Salsa Garden” and “Vegetable Tray Garden.” The sun was climbing in the sky and the middle school enrichment summer school students were sweaty although it was only 9:15 a.m. A dozen students watered the 30+ garden boxes and vining plants area, planted tomato plants and pulled up weeds.  read more

roeethyll lunn
Foghorn Leghorn and I
By ROEETHYLL LUNN
The non-traditional student is the primary reason I chose to work in pre-curriculum. I am familiar with their struggles on a first hand basis.  In the late nineties, I was among the ones who were forced to enter into the realization that  we  were  now in a place where the  edge we thought we  had in life, based on trivial premises such as youth, beauty,  family backing, marital status, or high paying employment,  seemingly had come to an end, and the things that use to fall into place so excellently before did not anymore. read more

engaged learning
Engaging Children Through Playful Learning: A Case Study
By PENNY ALLEN and MATT DILLER
Common sense tells us, when we do what we love, we do it well.  When work is fun, we are more creative, we are more thoughtful, and we want to keep building upon that success. Best practices in curriculum design start with that same wisdom. Students who are engaged in meaningful, creative learning projects that connect to the real world are more motivated to succeed. These students are invested in an excellent outcome. Doing something that matters compels kids to expect more of themselves and perform at a higher level. read more
article
Through The Personal Lens: Reconceiving Language and Education
BY HECTOR J. VILA
In her final writing piece, Megan realizes that, “No, this class had hardly anything to do with ‘teaching writing’ at all; rather, the growth and self-actualization I’ve experienced throughout the semester lies in the somewhat ambiguous term scenarios.” She says that, “School is all about including, conceptualizing, and engaging scenarios. Scenarios are what give us context, personality, experiences, and voice. But perhaps the most critical product of one’s scenario is language.” read more
service
A Trip to Remember
By MONICA LOPEZ MAGEE,
Jumping fish flew past our kayaks while catching bugs and brown pelicans waded near the coast. Some of our teens, nervous to sit in such a small boat, did a wonderful job overcoming their fears of the water while learning how to steer and balance themselves. Stopping for a lesson on the wetlands, we also sampled pickle grass which Germans grow and use as an ice cream topper. Trips like these are not only relaxing and educational, but tie us closer to the important habitats we try to protect. read more
service learning
Trust Your Students, They Will Shine
By STEVEN COLANGELI
One of my students who comes from a tough home life, and has a tough exterior became the sweetest most engaging person when teaching elementary students about the respiratory system or how to plant lettuce seeds. Elementary students would hang on her every word and she had them laughing out loud with their full attention. It was as if she was a different person and so the culture of our program during these projects took on an amazingly positive vibe that is difficult to adequately explain or describe. read more
literacy
Bridging Literacy from School to Home
By ALTHEA BENEBY-DUREN
My interest in family literacy began in the mid 1990s when I was finishing up an advanced degree in School Counseling. As part of my internship experience, I was provided the opportunity to work with a number of teenaged parents in a small group setting, under the guidance of the school’s Trust Counselor. These high-school students were involved in the Teenage Parent Program. I enjoyed talking with these young people and offering advice in terms of parenthood, as a mother of three. However, I wanted to find a way to combine my interest in reading with the specialized curriculum I was asked to implement. read more
pam dycus
The Examined Life Makes Good Writers
By PAM DYCUS
One technique that I have used over the past few years to assist students over the hurdles of determining who they are is called “Life is a Highway”. The strategy begins by proving to students that they are writers. Many students begin with statements such as ”I have nothing to say” but by the end are usually spewing thoughts on a variety of subjects. The amazing part of the exercise is that students who don’t enjoy writing like the activity because it allows them to share their thoughts. read more
service learning
Elder Documentaries: Student Initiative Means Community Connection
at a Visceral and Emotional Level

By TERRY LEE
What makes a community connection successful in my documentary class is the level of engagement that students have with their elder subjects, the sustained visiting, interviewing and, most importantly, listening that documenting elders’ stories demands. It is a profound connection to community in just a semester. A sustained encounter with an elder’s daily life, my students report, dramatically changes their understanding of life’s vicissitudes, as well as the joys and sorrows of aging. read more
service learning
Digging a Hole: Clinical Teaching and the Journey of Learning
By STUART GRAUER
As educators and students, what gets us ready to commit to an endeavor, to a class or study, to a purpose, rather than grazing half-heartedly through another class?  What makes us tap in to something larger?  What causes us to cast off our timid shadows and engage fully in life and the largest purposes we can find for it? At some point, we believe that probably all the best lessons really are journeys; we hope our students can somehow experience new worlds and that a great lesson is like an expedition. read more
service learning

Mentoring a New Teacher without a Magic Filing Cabinet
By DONNA ANDREWS
I remember the day I met Emily like it was yesterday. I was helping out in the guidance office before the start of the school year, completely overwhelmed with last minute schedule changes for students, and the scheduling server was down. In desperation, I had decided to build a schedule the old fashioned way with paper and pencil when Emily walked into the office. I could tell she was very sweet and extremely anxious about teaching geometry for the first time. read more
serive learning
The Bridge: An Intergenerational Space for Learning
By AHAVA SHIRA
It was exciting to participate in these conversations, to feel the energy in the room, the free and spontaneous engagement between youth and adults. Adults shared stories and insights from their successes and failures, the challenge of pursuing their passions along with the practicalities of their work. Students shared their skills, talents and fears, as well as their experiences with work so far. Both adults and youth shared their dreams and visions for their lives. read more


Rabat American School
Moving From Bake Sales to Service-Learning Grants in Morrocco
By ALEX DAILEY
At Rabat American School in Morocco educators and students have worked hard to cultivate a variety of service opportunities in recent years.But service efforts grew, so did the fundraising to support them. The time and energy spent on fundraising brought a financial emphasis into our service program that diminished our true focus on fostering human interconnectedness. To combat this fragmentation we converted a small community service allowance into a grant-fund for student-initiated service projects. read more
green club
Green Club: A Reflection on Partnership
By AUSTIN F. SCHWARTZ
Partnership emerged as a foundational component of green club programming. Partnerships share the responsibilities of home, school, and community settings. The self-generating aspect of green club programming was set in motion and service requests emerged. The club became a container for environmental dialogue and opportunities. read more
ann
An Educator’s Entrée into Research on Service-Learning
By ANN KIKI ANAEBERE
Pairing these concepts seems like a no brainer to me. Engage students in service within their community as a tool for supporting their professional development and learning. It was immediately easy for me to recognize the mutual benefit that such a service learning curriculum could have. For example, it could help support vulnerable populations’ access to care and health services, while at the same time provide important real world experience for nursing students prior to beginning their professional roles. read more
Monterrey High School
East L.A. Teens Learn Confidence Through The Arts
By TAMI ABDOLLAH
In 1970, an estimated 30,000 people marched through East L.A. to peacefully protest the Vietnam War. But what is called the Chiacano Moratorium ended in violence when law enforcement officials clashed with marchers. Three people, including Los Angeles Times journalist Ruben Salazar, were killed. An arts based project at Monterrey High School that worked to document the Moratorium through the voices of its participants has transformed many of the students at the school. read more
nursing
Nursing Center Without Walls Provides Health Care
to Vulnerable Populations

By SUSAN SIMS-GIDDENS
Many of our students are unfamiliar with the vulnerable residents in our community. Students who worked with us mentor the new students. Students teach residents about the medications they are taking. The clinical supervisor oversees student activities, discusses resources, and assists students to collaborate with community partners. Student placement in this project is dependent upon student interest in working with the vulnerable population. read more

service learning
Maria Lights the Way
BY BRANDY PRICE
One day I found a group of first graders hunched over a plant in our reading garden. It was immediately after school and the crowd was growing.  This level of crowd interest generally signals a fight, but the students were oddly silent.What I discovered that all eyes were on a six year old boy that was using a small leaf to “rescue” a worm that had fallen out of a planter. Times are changing and for the better. When I was growing up, boys in the neighborhood smashed snails with their shoes to hear the sad crunch of the helpless gastropod. read more
sustainability
Making Sustainability and Service-Learning Mesh in the Classroom
By NATALIE LAROSE
One way in which my classroom is going to improve the quality of life for all is through a service-learning project that I have designed that aligns with the first history unit I will be delivering, “North Street Then and Now.” Over the course of the unit students will learn about the history of the street on which their school is located, an area with rich cultural diversity and history but also traditionally an economically challenged area of the city. read more
ideal
The Ideal Engaged Citizen?
By JAKE GROHS
Sometimes the fork in the road also serves as a necessary slap in the face. There I was—an over-caffeinated Master’s student in Engineering Mechanics at Virginia Tech, dutifully working on my thesis in preparation for a May 2009 graduation.  Decent grades. A four-year veteran on a project sponsored by General Motors.  Supportive advisors happy to recommend me to potential employers. read more
Buffalo
Taking a Real Road into the Community
By ANNEMARIE FRANCZYK
It can be an uncomfortable leap for them to consider the bigger issues in the world around them. But if they become professional journalists, it’s that world around them in which they will be working. There’s no time like school time to get budding journalists to think beyond their realm and provide a valuable service to others. read more


ecology
The Transformative Power of Nature
By KELSEY STAMM
What happens when you take a group of inner-city kids from Philadelphia, most of who have never traveled outside the state, and plop them on a remote Costa Rican beach with no electricity? The answer? Magic. Eleanor Boli, a Spanish teacher at Germantown High School in Philadelphia, spent the last year raising money to take six of her students on a field science and cultural exchange program. read more
grief project
The Grief Outreach Initiative: University Students Help Grieving Children
in the Community

By TRICIA MCCLAM. and MARY ALICE VARGA
She told him that her mother had died on Valentine’s Day. She still wanted to read the book, but Dean Rider could not forget the memory and how the child’s grief affected her—she was held back in school because she could not adjust socially and academically. “Right then and there, sitting outside Mrs. McCoy’s room at the school on a carpeted staircase, I was lost for words,” said Rider. read more
Service Learning
A Nursing Program Comes Together with Community Supported Agriculture
By NANCY LaPLANTE
What better way to address human needs than through the food we eat and organic farming. I have always found being in a garden a place where I can pause to literally smell the roses, appreciate the wonders of nature, and reflect on life. My hope in planning this experience was that my students would have a similar response to working at the farm, and I am happy to say, this has happened. read more

Service-Learning
The Roots of Activism
By CHELSEA ROOD-EMMICK
We had a student who in his interview told us, to prove he was experienced with travel, that he had been to Iowa for two weeks. Two months later, that student who had been elaborating on how difficult it had been to be in Iowa was in a shanty town in Mexico beating a poisonous snake to death with a hoe. For me, as an instructor, this was about pulling back the veil for our students, many of whom had never traveled or thought about the international community. read more

Rick Cota
Digging Deeper: Charting a Path to Change Through Service-Learning and Sustainability
By RICK COTA
The experiences of an educator from Mississippi gave me unique perspective that I would not otherwise have ever had an opportunity for. Another educator from Hawaii gave me insight on the challenges that one has on an island paradise...that I later found out were the same as I had in California. What the Institute did for me was allow me the opportunity to share with individuals from different parts of the United States and abroad and realize that we all had unique experiences that we could all relate to. read more

los angeles
The Park That Kids Built
By LINDA JASSIM
In 1982 I came across a story in the Los Angeles Times that intrigued me. As a documentary filmmaker I was always on the lookout for a meaningful story that could effect change in people’s lives.  This one was compelling. It was about a group of 5th and 6th graders who lived in an impoverished South Los Angeles neighborhood and their two green and idealistic teachers who thought they could change their world. read more

service learning
Kids Making Change On Salt Spring Island
By JANINE FERNANDES-HAYDEN
Welcome to Salt Spring Island, Canada, one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. As an educator, I knew that, in developing this campaign, success was dependent on a design that would not be viewed as burdensome, or as a time-consuming add-on to the curriculum. It needed to complement the on-going work of administrators and teachers.  Alignment was key. read more
towson
Something to Smile About
By DR. MARY LASHLEY
“I came in as an emergency patient from the Helping Up Mission for a tooth pain. I had been taking antibiotics (3) three times this year for the problem but it kept resurfacing. Your students explained that since the tooth was infected inside the antibiotic was only a temporary relief never fixing the problem.  Knowing that I have not been at the…Mission very long, I knew that the only thing that the school was going to do was yank the tooth out. read more
Voting
Voting at an Election: Students as Poll Workers
By RUTH CHARLES
The goal of the project was two fold. First we wanted to bring students from the classrooms to the polls to learn about democracy. Based on the previous experience we wanted to see if when expanding to a larger sample it would be successful. The second goal was to create habit-forming civic engagement Key to many city or county auditors who hire poll workers is whether the younger workers would ever return and continue working in the polls. We also wanted to encourage students that participation is key to democracy. read more
wolf
Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: Food Activism at Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School
By ANDREW WOLF
I walked into my first food justice class in New York City last year. After writing “food justice” on the board, I waited for the class to arrive. As the students made their way into the room, it didn’t seem like many of them were taking notice of either the visitor (me) or the chalkboard. I was introduced by the students’ advisory teacher, Luz. A little nervous about getting the students interested in how food gets to our tables, I began by telling the class who I was and asking a starter question. “Who here knows what food justice is?” I asked. read more

sisters
My Year in the Sisterhood Project: A Story of Community Building
By NANETTE TUMMERS
Many of our college students come from advantaged home environments and have misperceptions of our urban centers and the students in these urban schools. Eastern Connecticut State University is located in one of the poorest districts in the state: Willimantic, CT. Willimantic is an old mill city hit hard by decades of recessions and faces issues of poverty, low graduation rates, and immigration. Students “at- risk’ for stress include a broad range of situations read more
quail
Quail Ridge Schoolhouse: A Window on What Kids Need
By NANCY HUMPHREY CASE
A once-in-a-lifetime experience may hold clues for every educator. The setting had a lot to do with the magic, along with the calm atmosphere, closeness to nature, and the interaction with living creatures that depended on them. The small size of the school was a huge factor, too. Everyone was integral. read more

sullivan
A Place You Can Walk To
By KRISTINA KENEGOS SULLIVAN
I’ve learned there is a great importance in finding nature close to home. A creek has patterns of light and variation in its course as the water makes its way over the rocks. There are deep pools that barely move where water spiders skate across the surface just above a branch of braided stones that tumble down and curve this way and that. read more


daniel
Saving Daniel’s Farm
By AMY E. STEIN
On a sunny day in late September just as the leaves revealed faint hints of amber and crimson red, I drove over to the farm after school. I swapped my clogs for a pair of worn hiking boots and walked over to the sunken front porch. A thin, elderly man with a long, gray beard and sunken cheeks sat in a rickety wooden chair. I extended my hand and introduced myself. read more

howard university
Evaluation as a Learning Experience at Howard University
By RODNEY D. GREEN, and ARVILLA PAYNE-JACKSON, with SUSAN BONTHRON
A unique partnership with a Washington, DC based Even Start program is helping Economics, Sociology, and Anthropology students at Howard University gain real world experience with program evaluation using ethnographic methods. Personal relationships with community members forms a crucial part of that experience. read more

bird
Shaping the Young Leaders of Tomorrow: The Story of South Carolina
Service-Learning Literacy Champions

By JASON M. BIRD, with BRADLEY H. SMITH
As an undergraduate student, I entered my first leadership role with a slight nervous shake running through my hands. I couldn’t help but feel, for a moment, overwhelmed by 35 sixth graders staring back at me. Their curiosity and excitement to have college students come visit their classroom and work with them on new approaches to reading and writing shined brightly through their eyes. read more
vermont
The Purpose of Inclusion:  Setting or Vision?
By SARA BAKER
I still believe in the concept of inclusion. Not because I want to prepare students for the world as it is, but because I want to influence the kind of world that it will be—for all of us. Inclusion is about honoring diversity, not ignoring it. It is about responding to the needs of individual children within the context of their families, their classrooms and their schools. read more


Pond Gap
Service-Learning In A Community School: AmeriCorps
VISTA and The University

By LEE N. MITCHELL with ROBERT F. KRONICK
Longtime children’s television show host Fred Rogers once said, “we live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem. Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes” Working with cohorts aged K-5 has reminded me how important it is to be optimistic as well as to have an open heart. read more
south carolina
Connecting, Listening, and Learning to Teach
By ROBIN GRIFFITH, NANCY ZELLER, and GUILI ZHANG
The preservice teachers were also very interested in getting to know their students as individuals. Linda noted that the little boy she worked with, Adam, “didn’t have any books” and “had never been to a bookstore.” She said, “He basically watches the dogs and horror movies with his dad,” and added “I think that we have a lot in common[because we both struggled with reading!” read more
uvm
Dispelling the Myths of Reflection
By CARRIE WILLIAMS HOWE
Body language changes; instead of leaning in eager and excited, colleagues, or students in my class, lean back and squirm. We’ve hit uncharted territory; preconceptions that surround the word “reflection” are tainting the conversation. Reflection is perhaps one of the most examined and written about aspects of service-learning pedagogy. And yet, it is also one of the most misunderstood. read more
south carolina
University Students and Children in a Homework Program Write Poems Together
By CLAUDIA M. REDER
The project began with the question: What would happen if prospective teachers, who were mostly unfamiliar with poetry, created poems with children? Would these students accept the possibility that poetry can be a journey of discovery, and would it enable them to become teachers who are not fearful of poetry? read more

nature journals
Nature Journals: An Enduring Marriage of Art and Literature
By DEB CROWDER
The creation of the nature journal has proven to be one of the most enduring forms of the marriage of art and literature throughout the journey of mankind. It is also one of the most accessible forms of art in that it requires only a few simple materials. The act of observation can foster a love of place and inspire positive actions to protect and preserve the natural environment. read more

city hearts
City Hearts: Reaching Inner City Youth through the Arts
By SUSAN BONTHRON
An in depth profile of the acclaimed Arts enrichment program in the Los Angeles County area where teachers from LA Arts community teach dance, acting, circus arts, musical theatre, Shakespeare, singing, crafts, and photography free to the community's most impoverished children. City Hearts connects thousands of underprivileged students with professionals to inspire learning and integrate disaffected youth back into the community through the Arts. read more

rumsey
Family History Writing: A Prototype for Local Service-Learning
By SUZANNE KELSER RUMSEY
The themes of collaboration, reflection, and reciprocity, while certainly familiar to service learning researchers, are themes which I have found also articulate the correlation between service learning and family history writing as well as shed light on what family history is and how service learning can be used in other historical, family based, and localized research projects. read more
green
Dynamic Landscapes, Dynamic Learning
By SHARYL GREEN
A Standard based study for third graders that includes hiking, technology, journaling, mapping, listening to guest speakers, experimenting, noting change and proof of human disturbance on the land—all with the aim of helping community members feel a sense of place by using a local resource. read more


gardens
The Garden of Knowledge: A Collaborative Learning Experience
By JENNIFER BALDWIN and SHEILA BALDWIN
Working in the garden became an antidote for his noncompliance. His teacher often noticed that even though he was smaller than most of his classmates, he was the first to roll up his sleeves and grab a hoe to help till the hard soil. read more


georgia state
Documenting an Important Encounter: Fostering Sustainable Intercultural Exchange
By REBECCA KENNERLY, TYSON DAVIS, and LYNDELL NELSON
Educators and students at Georgia Southern University embark on a collaborative service-learning project to understand the issues facing their region's increasing ly large immigrant population. Students in Intercultural Communication and Advanced Video Production courses, along the Southeast Georgia Communities Project documented and share their work. read more

uc davis
Building Community Through Teen Led Public Forums
By SHELLEY MURDOCK and CAROLE PATERSON
Those working in the youth development field have known for many years that young people have the talent and energy to understand, analyze and create positive change in their communities. The authors share the exciting results from a University of California 4-H affiliated program where youth reported that they acquired confidence and skills that they were able to use in other facets of their lives. Adults increased their awareness of and appreciation for youth’s capabilities. Youth connected with their communities. read more

bernier
“If These Walls Could Talk…” An Inside Look at Children’s Learning
By CAROL BERNER
His audience was familiar with concepts of talking walls and architectural problem solving. The children, teachers and community members listening attentively on this sunny June morning had spent the past year researching and building models of historic buildings. read more


nursing
Mental Health Service-Learning Projects on a College Campus
By DEBORAH L. MAY and CYNTHIA THOMAS
Two university educators in Indiana introduce their students to real world problem solving. Identifying that students on college campuses are at risk regarding mental health issues. In collaboration with the National Alliance on Mental Illness student nurses planned and implemented projects to highlight and reduce the incidence of depression on their campus. read more


day of the dead
Empowering Students in a Second Language
By KRISTA ZIELINSKI
It was hours before the performance, and I was already nervous for my students. Did they bring in the items they said they would? Are they ready to be productive?  Luckily, when my students arrived at school, they were prepared in ways I didn’t think were possible. read more




MORE from the Journal: essays l articles l reflections l resource reviews



subscribe
© copyright 1995-2018,
Community Works Institute (CWI)
All rights reserved.
CWI a non-profit educational organization


CONTENT USE POLICY We participate enthusiastically in cross-publication partnerships. But, we do ask that you always request permission to republish. No material contained within this web site may be reproduced in print, by electronic or other means, without permission. All materials contained within this web site remain the sole and exclusive property of CWI, or the author if designated by arrangement.

 
donate now subscribe