Discover Benefits of Community and Business Partnerships
- How Can High-Poverty Schools Engage Families and the Community?: Learn about the benefits when high-poverty schools engage with community partners for support, resources, and guidance. (Edutopia, 2016)
- What Community Engagement in Education Looks Like . . . and Can Do: Find how how business and community involvement can make a difference for students and schools. (Edutopia, 2015)
- Internships and Service Learning From Research Review on Integrated Studies: Examine the research literature on specific benefits of internships and service learning and the role community plays. (Edutopia, 2013)
- The Importance of Community Involvement in Schools: Read about the importance of community involvement in school success, and consider advice for schools looking to launch family and community engagement initiatives. (Edutopia, 2012)
Explore Specific Tips and Strategies for Schools
- Just Ask: Strategies for Building Community Partnerships: Figure out how to build a resource pool from the wide range of expertise within your community. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Creating Successful Collaborations: Consider guidelines for bringing artists and experts into the classroom to give students authentic experiences in creative collaboration. (Edutopia, 2013)
- How Schools Can Successfully Partner With Local Businesses: Take a look at six strategies for engaging business partners for activities such as guest speakers, job shadowing, student conferences, mentorships, and internships. (Asia Society, 2013)
- 5 Steps to Better School/Community Collaboration: Find resources and great ideas shared by a parent and community organizer, including how to create a community resource map. (Edutopia, 2011)
Build Partnerships to Support Project-Based Learning
- Establishing Real-World Connections in Projects (Keys to PBL Series Part 1): Watch a video that explains how to tap community resources to extend your projects beyond the classroom walls. (Edutopia, 2014)
- Focus on Audience for Better PBL Results: Consider tips on connecting students with real audiences in order to drive deeper learning. (Edutopia, 2014)
- San Francisco Bat Kid: A Model PBL Project: Understand how the high-profile pageant of San Francisco's Bat Kid event provides lessons about partnering with local, national, and international organizations to enrich both project-based learning and service learning. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Building Partnerships to Expand the PBL Classroom: Gain insight from one teacher's analogy comparing the stages of partnership development to those of dating. (Edutopia, 2013)
- Get Your Community on Board With PBL: Explore five strategies to get your community involved in school projects. (Buck Institute for Education, 2013)
See Successful Partnerships in Action
Dive into examples of successful business and community partnerships to support career readiness, service learning, and afterschool and enrichment programs.
Fostering Career Readiness
- Using Entrepreneurship to Transform Student Work (Edutopia, 2014)
- Business Students Dive into the "Shark Tank" (Edutopia, 2014)
- Making the Most of Mentors for Students (Edutopia, 2013)
- Introducing Students to the World of Work (Edutopia, 2013)
Creating Opportunities for Service Learning
- Middle School Maker Journey: Preparing for the Capstones (Edutopia, 2016)
- WebSLAM: Real-World Problem Solving With Civic Focus (Edutopia, 2016)
- Social-Justice: a Whole School Approach (Edutopia, 2015)
- Happy Eating Place: Elementary Students Can Run Their Own Business (Edutopia, 2014)
- The Tech Detectives: Students Take Ownership of Technology (Edutopia, 2014)
- How to Find a Home for Service-Learning Projects (Edutopia, 2014)
- Design Thinking Meets a Community Action Project (Edutopia, 2013)
Supporting Afterschool Learning and Enrichment Programs
- Informal Learning: From STEM Clubs to Careers in Science (Edutopia, 2014)
- How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People (Edutopia, 2013)
Downloads and Examples From Schools That Work
Edutopia's flagship series highlights practices and case studies from K-12 schools and districts that are improving the way students learn. Below, find downloads used by practitioners at featured schools, and explore real-world examples of community partnerships.
At Hood River Middle School in Hood River, Oregon, local experts make learning come to life. See how Hood River connects to community members as a part of place-based learning, and learn how this school has turned itself into a community hub.
Find out how Walter Bracken STEAM Academy Elementary School in Las Vegas, Nevada, partnered with organizations to bring lessons in financial literacy to the school. Then learn how the school found donors and brought in gardening experts to transform school grounds.
Crellin Elementary School in Crellin, Maryland, uses community needs as real-world catalysts for learning. Learn how Crellin educators reach out to the community to identify opportunities for place-based learning and invite community partners into classrooms to share their expertise.
Students at Montpelier High School in Montpelier, Vermont, work with local organizations, businesses, and individuals to craft internships that allow them to explore their interests, learn skills, and work collaboratively. Take a look at how Montpelier finds real-life community applications for student learning through service-learning projects, and explore a few of this school's resources:
- Community-Based Learning Syllabus -- Download an overview of the semester-long course for students in the community-based learning program.
- Community-Based Learning Evaluation Form -- Download an evaluation form sent to community partners at the end of each semester to reflect on a student's work and performance.
For students at Normal Park Museum Magnet School, the entire community of Chattanooga, Tennessee -- from museums and cultural centers to local businesses and natural areas -- provides opportunities to make real-world curriculum connections; discover how Normal Park engages community partners to provide these new opportunities for learning.
Have you built successful community or business partnerships with your class, school, or district? Are you aware of other helpful resources? Please share your experiences and any additional resources in the comments.