Woodrow alum donates $400,000 worth of curriculum to district


A Dallas ISD alum recently donated more than $400,000 worth of curriculum that she spent her career developing to help students succeed in school and life.

Carla Crutsinger
Carla Crutsinger

Carla Crutsinger, who graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1958, went on to found Brainworks in 1981, which develops books and curriculum to help children of all ages accelerate their learning. The books are based on extensive research on how students best learn and communicate.

As she looked to retire after decades running Brainworks, Crutsinger read an article about an in-house suspension program at a Dallas ISD school. The article made her think how her books, some of which help troubled teenage students improve their self-esteem and learn how to communicate, could benefit Dallas ISD students. After talking with teachers and staff in Dallas ISD, Crutsinger decided to donate Brainworks’ entire remaining curriculum inventory to the district.

“I really think these books can help students across the district,” Crutsinger said. “The methods in these books have proven to work, time and time again.”

Tom Hayden, manager of Dallas ISD’s Volunteer and Partnership Services, said the Brainworks’ donation is a big win for the district. Dallas ISD beat out multiple other school districts to secure the donation.

“Dallas ISD is very grateful to receive this outstanding donation of the Brainworks curriculum from its creator Ms. Crutsinger,” Hayden said. “Having been a graduate of the Dallas ISD, Ms. Crutsinger’s life’s work has been educating students all over the world. This donation is a true example of giving back to the Dallas ISD where Ms. Crutsinger received her educational foundation.”

The Brainworks books donated to the district include:

  • ADD Quick Tips: Practical Ways to Manage Attention Deficit Disorder Successfully;
  • Teenage Connection and Confidence Power, which cover topics that relate to the real life experiences of middle school and high school students. The books help students improve their self-esteem and become more effective communicators;
  • The Most Wanted Words, which offers a new approach to spelling, writing and thinking and introduces students to 75 percent of the most frequently used words in writing.
  • The Sir Spell-A-Lot Series, which teaches spelling and writing skills using a medieval setting to students in grades 2, 3, 4, and 5;
  • Thinking Smarter and Creative Memory, which present a study skills package that includes note-taking, time-management, test-taking strategies, and long-term recall of information using creative strategies;
  • Fighting Math Phobias, for grades K–6. The book includes 81 hands-on activities and games that teach basic to upper-level thinking skills such as logic and probability.
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