Cooperation and collaboration with local community is important part of the learning process. Contact with real life is essential for my students future, not the immediate future, but still...
I live and work in Skopje, the capitol of Macedonia and it's not very hard to find willing businesses or institutions that want to work with us. My students are 12-15 years old, so it's more of a cooperation with the businesses and institutions and less of a collaboration. Still, I use my personal connections as connections to collaborate with Cinematography society, ICT learning centers, local libraries, State University etc. where students work on tasks, presentations and research, but considering the age, it's mostly the basic level. We also collaborate with high schools.
What I've noticed is that whenever I take my students to the University, we go as a class, and yet, many of my students understand better the essentials of the tasks compared to university students. I'm fascinated with the way their minds work and the quality of their critical thinking, even though I see it in class every day.