PassageWorks Institute - Colorado Gives 365

A nonprofit organization

PassageWorks aims to build a more just world where children can experience greater compassion and community in our schools.
Our practices and principles have been used to foster student engagement, resilience, social and emotional skills, and academic success.


Teacher Development
"PassageWorks was an essential part of me becoming a member of Doyle Elementary from the get-go. I hadn't even spent a day teaching with this staff, and already, I felt like a member of the Doyle family. I couldn't have done that without PassageWorks. It was a great "ice-breaker" for me as a new teacher. I think that schools should have this kind of thing more often. I am very thankful to have a principal who cares enough to implement such a program in our school." ~ Second Grade Teacher, Doyle Elementary School, East Prairie, MO

"Passage Works is an exceptional program committed to excellence in the often overlooked realm of social/emotional education. We were fortunate enough to be able to offer a two day Passage Works workshop to our entire staff. It was a truly healing and renewing event - the Open School faculty was given the gift of exploring new and meaningful ways to bring passion and presence to our teaching. And in the process of experiencing the fullness of the curriculum, we also discovered a new level of community with each other." ~ Scott Bain Teacher, Advisor, and Instructional Coach, Jefferson County Open School, CO

"Immigrants have always brought our country huge gifts-knowledge, experience, cultural diversity. PassageWorks helps students to feel welcomed and honored here… students are not talked down to or seen as an intruder. In schools that aren't adequately dealing with the needs of Newcomer students, a lot of students are dropping out and feeling a great sense of despair." ~ Francisco Garcia-Quezada, Fieldstone Secondary School, Thiells, New York

"PassageWorks has been a profound experience for both my students and myself. The work we have been engaging in through the curriculum has strengthened our connections to one another while adding a whole new depth to our community. The children seem to be gaining a deeper understanding of themselves, as well as recognizing the importance of strong peer connections and what it means to build trust in others and be a trustworthy person themselves. The children look forward to our Friday PassageWorks hour and are thoroughly disappointed if we miss a session together. I wish I could do PassageWorks with my students every day!" ~ 5th Grade Teacher


Our mission is to support educators with practices and principles that integrate social, emotional and academic learning and create meaningful and rigorous relationship-based classrooms.

Background Statement

For over two decades PassageWorks Institute's (PWI) practices, principles, and tools have been used to foster student engagement, resilience, social and emotional skills, and academic success. PWI's relationship-based approach to teaching and learning includes a balance of warmth, structure, and high expectations and has been developed to respect and honor the diverse views and experiences of students, families, and educators.

The Institute was founded in 2001 by Rachael Kessler (1946-2010) and colleagues. In 2013, the PassageWorks writing team led by Laura Weaver and Mark Wilding, published "The 5 Dimensions of Engaged Teaching" (Solution Press) that serves as the organic framework for all offerings. In the same year, PWI also acquired the evidenced-based SMART in Education mindfulness course for teachers. These tools and an expanded network of faculty, board, staff, and allies have positioned the Institute to significantly expand its reach and impact in Colorado across the U.S.

Organization Data


Organization name

PassageWorks Institute - Colorado Gives 365

other names

PassageWorks Institute, PWI

Year Established





PO Box 19230
Boulder, CO 80308

Service areas

Boulder County, CO, US



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