The book is my recent favorite classic.
I'm not exactly sure what is involved in your Community Development class, but if I assume correctly, I understand why this book was a part of your class. Many points in the novel demonstrate the connectedness of a community in the 1800s. For example, Mrs. Bennet confides in other lady's of other houses to receive and give news. They all know what happens within the town and there is a joined sense of community between the people of Northampshire.