Since 1869, Rye Country Day School’s motto "Not for self, but for service" has been integral to the culture of the School. The Rye Country Day School philosophy states, “A superior education embraces the concept that to educate is to do more than to teach.” Through service learning, we will provide transformative educational opportunities that prepare our students to be responsible citizens with an ethic of service and empathy for our shared human experience. We believe that meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships emanate from a curriculum enhanced by community engagement. Rye Country Day School’s sustained commitment to making a positive impact on the community and contributing to the common good defines our public purpose.
– Public Purpose Mission Statement
With a rich history of service and academic excellence, Public Purpose at Rye Country Day aims to further our students’ relevancy to the local and global community, while developing the tools to be thoughtful and provocative change agents with a Public Purpose. Too often in our society we attempt to “serve others,” addressing only one side of the equation without considering the tremendous learning potential both academically and ethically as individuals and as interconnected citizens. Public Purpose challenges us to balance our approach to problems by employing a principle of reciprocity. When students identify, examine, and research societal inequities, and plan a course of action to respond using rich and varied methods, they strengthen their knowledge base through direct application of skills and service.
This approach involves a service learning paradigm shift. This process works to facilitate all members of the RCDS community to question our assumptions, trace the origin of stereotypes, consider the implications of societal statistics, and investigate the status quo. Service learning applies opportunities to integrate community and global themes into the curriculum and facilitates a pedagogical impetus to action. Through our interdisciplinary service learning approach, students will:
- Stay connected to service learning themes over an extended period of time
- Strengthen their competencies within core classroom goals and objectives
- Benefit from and utilize individual talents
- Practice group teaching and learning dynamics
- Question individual mindsets and reevaluate or affirm worldviews
- Engage in sophisticated dialog, discourse, and discovery
- Employ an ethic of cultural humility
- Achieve visible, valued, and attainable outcomes
- Experience empathy to empowerment within the context of public partnerships
We believe it is our responsibility to leverage our resources to advance the greater good, and offer more than short-term solutions to real-world problems. Our academic rigor will be further demonstrated through ongoing sustainable best practices and innovative service models to successfully support our social investment. Our strategic purpose extends beyond any single constituency group and seeks to engage parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and fellow members of our local and global community. Please do not hesitate to contact Lynn Sullivan, Director of Public Purpose at 914-925-4792 with any questions or for information about how you can participate in our efforts.