What is service learning?
Service learning engages students in meaningful service to their school and communities, both inside the classroom and out, while integrating that service with established curricula and/or learning objectives. (Adapted from the National Youth Leadership Council)
What does service learning look like at Riverdale?
Riverdale’s service learning program combines service with learning in an engaging and meaningful way with attention to mind, character and community. Our program seeks to cultivate the thinker, ethicist and citizen within every student through connections to our global and local communities. Students act as responsible leaders, who build relationships through sustained individual and group service experiences.
Riverdale’s Service Learning Program...
- supports students through integrating meaningful volunteer activities with challenging and relevant coursework, yielding self-discovery, the acquisition of skills, and the building of strong values and character.
- supports teachers to engage their students in purposeful action and reflection as part of academic classes.
- broadens the Riverdale experience beyond the Riverdale campus by partnering with local, national, and global organizations in respectful reciprocity to meet the needs of the community.
- learns about the contexts, histories and needs of the respective communities.
- demonstrates a sustained commitment to direct action and reflection.
- supports students as agents of change at the grassroots, activist, and/or policy-shaping levels.
- brings awareness, empathy and humility to service.
- collaborates with the Riverdale Global Studies Program to nourish global citizenship by advancing scholarship, reflection, and ethical action in our local, national, and international communities.
- collaborates with the Riverdale Community Engagement Team to foster diversity and inclusion through a social justice framework.
- is overseen by the Director of Service Learning and is implemented by each Division’s Coordinators of Service Learning.
Riverdale was featured in the Service Spotlight on the Carney Sandoe Blog.
Upper School Service Learning
Through their work with Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and the Riverdale Neighborhood House, Upper School students develop meaningful relationships through helping with others.