Home / Blog / Who’s in your neighborhood? Leveraging your community to empower educators and learners

Who’s in your neighborhood? Leveraging your community to empower educators and learners

May 2, 2024 | Community, Featured


How can school systems leverage their communities to create deeper and more personalized learning for all students? One answer is to empower families, tutors, mentors and other community members with teaching and learning strategies that are easy to access and immediately put into practice with children. The Next Education Workforce’s Community Educator Learning Hub is a tool designed with this in mind. 

The Learning Hub is designed to teach caring adults to help children learn with actionable steps to apply immediately. As a curated catalog of on-demand nanocourses – which take approximately fifteen minutes each to complete – the Community Educator Learning Hub has become a trusted training resource to thousands of users in nearly 50 states and the District of Columbia since its launch

Designed by Arizona State University faculty and nationally recognized community-based organizations, these 130+ nanocourses cover a range of subjects from the teaching of reading and math strategies to teaching emotional self-regulation and systems thinking. They were designed to support the many different roles community educators play across educational ecosystems, both in formal school settings and out-of-school learning environments, including: 

  • High-impact tutors helping students make gains in reading and math after pandemic school closures disrupted their learning
  • Summer camp staff supporting positive behaviors and managing large groups of children 
  • Community organization administrators preparing parents, volunteers, and other community members to effectively support students and teachers
  • Industry mentors sharing their careers and expertise with children

How are those community educators responding to this learning platform?

This course provided me with an abundance of new and helpful information. We have learned about SMART goals before, but now I was able to learn even more about how to help the students achieve their goals. I can now better help them to develop a process that works for them and helps keep them accountable and motivated. There were lots of great topics and examples in this course.

-Community Educator Learning Hub user on Develop goal setting and time management skills nanocourse

The content in this course will empower me to better communicate with my students.

-Community Educator Learning Hub user on Inclusive Language nanocourse

I learned an immense amount of information from this course. It was interesting to learn about the different theories with development and the strategies within them. I liked that this course started from the ground up by explaining what occurs in a child’s mind from when they are first born to when they are a teenager. We have learned some of this in our training before, but I enjoyed how in-depth this course was. It was also great to see the many examples of how to interact with children at each stage in their life.

-Community Educator Learning Hub user on Child development nanocourse

This was a great course! Understanding how to implement differentiation is so important within student learning. When you meet students where they are, they can truly thrive. I thought the videos had great examples on what to do and not to do which provided a positive learning experience for me!

-Community Educator Learning Hub user on Facilitation strategies nanocourse

When schools and communities build strong connections, students benefit. But making connections is not always easy, and making connections matter can be challenging, says. Carole Basile, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College. Scalable, accessible training on the Community Educator Learning Hub saves schools and organizations time and resources so that their community educators can make the most of their time with students.

Next Education Workforce™ team-based school staffing models celebrate the knowledge that community members bring and how their distributed expertise can support students. This can include those with corporate experience, volunteer experience, retired educators and more.

“These people all have something to contribute,” Basile said. “They become part of the team. We think about this as a workforce. Not just teachers and classrooms but as a much, much broader workforce and who the people are that we’ve got to bring in to support kids.”

Learn more

To learn more about the Community Educator Learning Hub and how community members can support their local schools, contact Korbi Adams, senior program manager on the Next Education Workforce team at korbi.adams@asu.edu.  

See the nanocourses for yourself at asucommunityeducators.org! 

No-cost webinar series to support community engagement

Beginning this month, the Community Educator team will host a series of webinars at no cost for schools and school systems, community organizations, and industry partners working with community educators, starting with a summer camp webinar on May 15. Are you planning a summer camp or program? You are invited to learn more about how technology can complement your contextual training and prepare your community educators to work with children, support positive behaviors and manage large groups. Join us virtually in May for the Community Educator Learning Hub Summer Camp Webinar: 

  • Who is it for? Arizona community-based organization administrators 
  • What is the time commitment? 30 minutes
  • What is the format? Virtual via Zoom
  • What is the cost? Free

Register for a webinar

Notes about the author:

Recent posts

Featured events