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Service Learning

Lower School
At the Lower School, as part of the Children Helping Children program, our students choose a charity to support every two years, based on research and recommendations from the Student Council. Each year, events such as a popcorn sale, bake sale, and the Candy Gram booth at the annual Lower School Spring Carnival raise money for the Children Helping Children fund.

All Lower School students are part of a buddy program, where all classes are paired with another class. The students read together, work on academics, create projects, and play together. They also support one another at their drama productions.

Fifth grade students are required to complete a trimester of in-school service, such as tutoring younger children, helping at recess, assisting in the infirmary, or working in the library. As well as providing valuable learning experiences, this prepares them for the community service requirements of the Middle and Upper Schools.
C.A.R.E. Program
The main goal of C.A.R.E. in Action is to introduce the idea of service learning to our students and expose them to a variety of ways to participate and give back to others in the community.  This is a precursor to the service learning program that begins in the Middle and Upper schools which is meant to make the idea of service meaningful and enjoyable and hopefully an integral part of our lives at R.C.S. as well as outside in our communities.

The C.A.R.E. program is a way of life in Riverdale's Lower School. Created in 1989 by the Lower School students and faculty, C.A.R.E. is an acronym that stands for Children Aware of Riverdale Ethics. The guiding principle of this program is to find positive ways to help others and resolve conflicts.

The faculty, staff, and children of the Lower School all participate in C.A.R.E. The adults on the River Campus recognize that C.A.R.E. only works when they themselves exemplify its principles in their interactions with colleagues and students.

C.A.R.E. is also an integral part of our academic program. It comes up in our readings and writing, in physical education, in the arts, and during recess. Our assembly programs, which highlight values issues, stem from C.A.R.E.

As part of the C.A.R.E. program, the faculty and students of the Lower School dedicate some of their energy each year to helping support a charity. The charity is chosen by the students with the support of their student council and its faculty advisers.
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Rachel Klein
Director of Service Learning, Hill Campus, and Coordinator of Middle School Service Learning
Phone: (718) 549-8810, ext. 208
Email: rklein@riverdale.edu 

Emily Schorr Lesnick
Coordinator of Upper School Service Learning
Phone: (718) 549-8810, ext. 207
Email: eschorrlesnick@riverdale.edu

Erin Constabile
Lower School Service Learning Coordinator
Phone: (718) 549-7780, ext. 3201
Email: econstabile@riverdale.edu

Maryanne V. Fraleigh
Lower School Service Learning Coordinator
Phone: (718) 549-7780, ext. 4372
Email: mfraleigh@riverdale.edu