Assemblies at the Lower School are built around the themes found in the C.A.R.E. (Children Aware of Riverdale Ethics) program, an integral part of Lower School life. Assemblies highlight values, such as heroism, and include talks by members of the Riverdale community and guests.
Guests at Lower School assemblies have included faculty as well as outside experts. Often times, assemblies highlight different cultures through music and dance. Last year the Lower School enjoyed a performance by an Indian Dance Group in which several of our students (who study with this group) participated. We also learned about different instruments from a Chinese Dance Group and a young Latino performing company called “Los Combacheros.” The entire Lower School participated through class lessons and research in an assembly dedicated to people “whose lives have made a difference” to humanity.
All Lower School assemblies are marked by formal entrance while one or more of our student musical groups perform, the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, the singing of “America, the Beautiful,” and a closing community song from our “Riversing Song Book.”
Middle & Upper Schools
Assemblies at the Middle & Upper Schools offer students the chance to hear from interesting, successful, and thought-provoking artists, writers, and other professionals, as well as from people within the RCS community.
Over the past few years, Upper School assemblies have brought a wide variety of people and performances to campus. Jeffrey Tobin discussed the 2008 election, as did a panel of distinguished journalists, conservative as well as liberal. Jeffrey Rosen, GWU law professor and author lectured on the future of the Supreme Court. A number of Iran-Iraq experts have spoken, and recently, biographer Walter Isaacson discussed his latest book. Andrew Sorkin and David Faber, both leading economics journalists, have recently addressed the 2008-2009 economic crisis.
Jazz at Lincoln Center musicians have performed often, as well as the Yale Whiffenpoofs and New Blue. Riverdale pianist Lloyd Arriola recently gave a recital, and Riverdale student musicians perform annually for their classmates. Former US poet laureate Billy Collins gave a successful reading in 2008 and National Book Award winner Sharon Olds will read her poetry in 2010.
Riverdale’s Student Faculty Council hosts a talent show with regularity, and Riverdale’s many student affinity groups also present timely and provocative assemblies. The Riverdale History Department has organized many thought-provoking, interactive assemblies on current world affairs over the years.
Upper School Assemblies are an important, frequent opportunity to gather the entire school together to be informed, entertained, and sometimes just to “Speak Out.”