Our vision and story.
CommunityShare is a nonprofit initiative powered by educators, designers, researchers, and social entrepreneurs who believe that young people everywhere deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential. We also believe that the only limit to making this possible is our imaginations.
We’re a fiscally-sponsored initiative of CITY Center for Collaborative Learning and we’re enormously grateful to have the support of more than 20 funding partners and countless more individual donors who play a critical role in making our dream, work and impact a reality.
Our core team is led by director and founder Josh Schachter. An educator, visual storyteller and social ecologist, Josh has more than 20 years of experience designing and facilitating real-world learning experiences and projects in schools, organizations and communities across the globe − in places ranging from New Delhi to Nigeria.
Several years ago, we looked around our home community in Tucson, Arizona, and began wondering what it would look like if every community member saw themselves as an educator or mentor. Each of us has unique stories, skills, passions and experiences. When we share these gifts with each other, we develop a sense of belonging and identity as a community and define a vision for our shared future.
We asked ourselves…What would happen if we could create pathways for people to share their passions and experiences with each other every day? What kind of learning and relationships might emerge by bringing people together across geographic, socioeconomic and institutional boundaries? If learning transcended the boundaries of schools, what would this make possible for students, educators and communities?
These questions were the seeds that grew CommunityShare.
We work online and offline to connect the skills and experiences of people in the community – everyday individuals with regular jobs and lives – to the needs and aspirations of educators and their students. Our goal is to support “real-world” learning opportunities that help young people discover their passions and transform those passions into future careers and fulfilled lives.
Students need real-world, purpose-driven learning opportunities now more than ever, with 40-60% of them chronically disengaged from school. Research shows that real-world learning and community connections can increase engagement and academic achievement. Our decades of experience as educators confirms that. Just think about what got you excited when you were a kid?
We’ve built a suite of programs designed to weave schools, businesses, community organizations and individuals together into a cohesive learning network.
Our online platform helps educators tap into the wealth of skills and experiences available in their community. Local professionals, scientists, artists, parents, and business owners create an online profile and then teachers can find and contact community partners who can serve as project collaborators, mentors guest speakers, field trip hosts and more. At a time when technology can often divide us, we’ve designed a digital tool to unite us.
Our education systems are only as strong as our communities. We partner with individual professionals and businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to help them find meaningful ways to support learning in schools.
CommunityShare is an organization created by educators for educators. Every month we bring together teachers at our home base in Tucson, AZ, where we create a supportive learning community that develops a practice of community-engaged, real-world learning.
Some people say the shortest distance between two people is a story. Our digital media and storytelling workshops bring together educators, students and community members to celebrate successes and engage diverse voices in creating a collective vision for real-world learning.
We’re always looking for new partners and individuals interested in our mission. Have an idea for how we can partner together?