2012 - 2013 Service Leadership Council
"Not for self, but for service." This has been the RCDS motto for more than 130 years. Our commitment to service is more than a slogan; it is part of our mission. Service opportunities are an integral portion of the School’s Public Purpose Program, resulting in a wide variety of community partnerships.
RCDS tailors its Community Service by offering age-appropriate volunteer opportunities coordinated across divisions. The Lower School program teaches core values of community and citizenship and includes service projects run by specific grades – collecting one-on-one holiday gifts for preschool students at local Head Start programs; promoting ecological awareness; and holding food and toy drives for local nonprofits. In the Middle School, students participate in Community Service projects in all grades and through student organizations. Typical efforts include Awareness Clubs, Green Team projects, raising funds and awareness for Charity: Water, breast cancer through the Middle School GOPiNK group and participating in the St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital Math-A-Thon. Both Lower and Middle School students enthusiastically participate each year in the American Heart Association’s Hoops and Jump Rope for Heart. In addition, all students in Grade 8 participate in specially scheduled Middle School Service Days during the school year, working at a variety of nonprofits in the local area.
Upper School students enjoy ongoing and special event service opportunities both on and off campus, including local partnerships with the Spinal Cord Injury Unit of the James J. Peters V.A. Medical Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Port Chester Carver Center's After School Program. Student government, clubs or individual classes sponsor most Upper School group service events. Generosity Week, held each December, features efforts by more than twenty-five student organizations, including awareness presentations, fundraisers, collections, hands-on service, and holiday celebrations. Individual referrals for off-campus independent service opportunities are available all year. Although service other than Senior Term is not required, starting in 2012-13 Upper School students will have the ability to document and reflect their learning experiences online. Read a message to Parents about the program. RCDS volunteers are recognized by both governmental and private organizations.
Senior Term is a graduation requirement. During their final two weeks of the school year, all seniors participate in full day, small group service projects for nonprofit organizations in Westchester, Fairfield and the Bronx. These projects are initiated and planned by the students themselves, subject to faculty approval. Some representative Senior Term service sites for 2012 included Adopt-a-Dog, Greenwich Audubon, Jay Heritage Center, Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, Port Chester After School Program, White Plains YWCA, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Rye Nature Center, special projects on the RCDS campus and a service learning trip to the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans sponsored by the RCDS Office of Public Purpose.
In times of extraordinary need, RCDS responds accordingly. In past years, the entire school community has joined together in substantial efforts to assist the Gulf Coast region after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, to provide aid to tsunami survivors in Southeast Asia, and to meet the needs of Haitian earthquake survivors.
* * * * *
For further information, please call Ms. Anita Walsh, Director of Community Service, at (914) 925-4594 during the academic year. The Community Service Center is located in room 203 of the Upper School.