Shining the Light: Community Engagement with a Focus on K-12 Partnerships


Collaboratory’s Shining the Light series highlights the amazing work of our institutional partners and shares examples of community engagement and public service activities captured in Collaboratory. 

Recognizing that community engagement is an integral strategy through which campuses contribute to and achieve the mission and goals of their institutions, this series is guided by the Benefits of Civic and Community Engagement Primer co-edited by Collaboratory’s own Kristin Medlin and published by our partners, North Carolina Campus Compact’s Community of Practice, Inquiry & Learning (COPIL).

The primer:

  • Assembles evidence of how civic and community engagement (CCE), when done well, contributes to the overarching goals of higher education
  • Highlights the range of CCE activities occurring in community-campus partnerships throughout the state of North Carolina
  • Provides a tool to aid in deepening the practice of engagement, and
  • Makes the case for investment in and commitment to CCE

This installment of Shining the Light features community engagement and public service activities with a focus on K-12 partnerships.

Civics Education in Middle School

Students from Outreach Legal Literacy (OLL), a student-run organization at Indiana University Mauer School of Law, teach civics and the fundamentals of the American legal system to 5th graders. OLL sends teams of 2-4 law students into 5th grade classrooms across the community to provide a series of 13 weekly hour-long sessions across 2 semesters which culminates into a mock trial held at the end of the year.

Arizona Council of History Educators Teaching Difficult Histories Project

Whose histories do we teach and how do we teach them? These questions have always been important; now they are urgent. Members of ASU’s History faculty have partnered with the Arizona Council for History Education to develop and enact a yearlong series of workshops to empower Arizona’s high school teachers to explore subjects such Indigenous sovereignties, Africa as a centerpiece of global history, cultural encounters in the borderlands, and Black Power. History faculty in turn learn from gifted classroom teachers ways to inspire student curiosity, participation, and skill-building.

Adolescent Latinas Advancing Salud Mental through Storytelling (ALAS)

This partnership is between five UWT professors and Proyecto MoLE, a youth leadership program serving mainly Latinx youth, based primarily at Mt. Tahoma High School. The project focuses on the promotion of health and well-being in Latina girls through youth-centered collaborative workshops that explore well-being, cultural identity, coping resources, and youth storytelling.

Lā Honua / Earth Day Celebration

Girls N Power

Worcester East Middle School STEM Project Overview

Cultural Competency: Leading Radical Change Pedagogy

Want to learn more about Collaboratory?

Email [email protected] to learn more about how to leverage Collaboratory to tell your institution’s story of engagement.

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