Programs

Riverdale's female a capella singing group performs at a concert.
The Rivertones, the female a cappella singing group, is one of Riverdale’s many student-led clubs and activities.

Clubs and Activities

Upper School students are encouraged to join student-led clubs and activities. Most groups meet once every two weeks during activity period. Some groups also meet during advisory and mini-course periods, and at lunch, after school, and on the weekends. Student leaders present the goals of their activities at an assembly in September, and ninth graders select activities as part of the required Delta course. In addition to clubs and activities, Riverdale has the following affinity groups: Asian American Alliance (AAA),
Association for White Anti-Racist Education (AWARE), Black Student Alliance (BSA),
Gay, Lesbian or Whatever (GLOW),
Hispanic Organization for Latinx Awareness (HOLA), Multiracial and Multiethnic Students (M&Ms), and Jewish in NY. 

The 2020-2021 offerings are:

Action Against the Prison Industrial Complex (AAPIC): Our goal is to engage in thoughtful discourse about the state of our modern-day criminal justice system through guest speakers, media, and literature.

Alchemy: Our goal is to create a platform for Riverdale students who have a strong affinity for science and writing.

Animal Welfare Club: Our goal is to plan multiple projects and fundraisers throughout the year to support organizations that directly help and protect animals like The Humane Society.

Animania: Our goal is to create a short animated film using the knowledge we have developed about anime and manga.

Architecture and Engineering: Our goal is to design and build useful structures on campus.

Book Club: This is a monthly activity in which we analyze and discuss a book chosen by the group.

Boys Leading Boys: Our goal is to involve men in conversations about sexual assault and toxic masculinity within the community.

Bundles of Joy: Our mission is to alleviate some of the stress experienced by parents whose children are in the NICU. We will arrange for speakers to educate us about the NICU and the needs of parents, and we will create packages, cards, and art to bring comfort to parents during this difficult time.

Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Club: We work to integrate the Riverdale community with the Challenged Athletes Foundation through a variety of events.

Citymeals: Citymeals is a highly regarded, NYC-based, non-profit that provides food on weekends to needy homebound elderly citizens throughout the five boroughs. Our club helps with food deliveries and educates students about food scarcity and the importance of providing meals to the elderly.

Classics Club: Our club provides a space for students who are interested in Latin and Greek to come together and learn more about these ancient languages and their cultures.

Debate: The debate team is a rigorous but rewarding activity/mini-course that will teach you the skills needed to compete in public forum debate tournaments. Each participant is required to attend two tournaments and participate in the debate mini-course.

Economics and Finance Club: Our club hosts guest speakers on topics such as the core principles of macroeconomics, fiscal and monetary policy, and the stock market.

Falcons Dance Company: We choreograph and perform multiple contemporary/jazz pieces throughout the year.

Film Club: We provide students with an opportunity to watch and discuss classic films once a week.

Flume Ensemble: We perform a variety of pieces for service organizations in the Bronx. In 2020, we gave a virtual concert that raised more than $17,000 to help the greater Bronx community.

Game Theory: Our goal is to teach students about optimal strategies in ultimatums or “games” that are often modeled mathematically. We will also learn about how to systematize strategic decision-making.

Girls Learn International (GLI): Our mission is to help girls around the world and in our local community gain access to educational opportunities to help them break the poverty cycle. In past years, we have held bake sales to raise money for GLI’s partner organization, the Awaso Academy in Ghana, so that they could buy computers for their computer labs. We have also hosted multiple hygiene product drives to donate to POTS in the Bronx.

Global Studies Club: Our purpose is to help the Riverdale community become more globally aware. We aim to put students in situations where they can learn about other cultures, whether that be through eating dumplings or Zooming with students across the world.

Happy Little Painting Club: In a Happy Little Painting Club, we will follow a Bob Ross painting tutorial and relax with painting and good conversation. We want to provide a judgment-free space for people to relax and think creatively when school can feel stressful!

Hatch Micro Mentorships: Students who join this club will embark on running our non-profit organization called Hatch – Micro Mentorships. Hatch is an online program dedicated to matching high school mentees with mentors in a variety of specialties. Club members will become financial officers, graphic designers, social media managers, website managers, writers, app developers, and so much more.

HEADstrong Club: Our activity works in collaboration with the HEADstrong Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by cancer. We use our platform as students and as athletes to spread awareness, show our support and raise money for a really important cause.

Human Rights Now! Our club provides a space where we discuss and learn about human rights. We explore topics pertaining to Riverdale and the world. Human Rights Now is also a healing space and we emphasize the importance of self-care.

Impressions: Riverdale’s annual art and literary magazine accepts submissions from students and faculty. Our club decides on a theme and layouts, designs the publication using the Adobe Suite, and prints the final product to share the artistic talent in our community.

Intersectional Eco-Feminism: Our club discusses the intersection between the environment, gender, race, and class.
Some examples of topics that we have explored include fast fashion, the implication of golf courses, and the impact of climate change on female-headed households.

Investment Club: We hold weekly discussions on topics that pertain to the investing world, including researching companies and managing a virtual portfolio.

Math Club: We look at fun puzzles and problems and prepare for local and national math competitions.

Model United Nations (MUN): We engage in discussions about global politics, prepare for and attend MUN conferences, and work together to improve our skills as public speakers, collaborators, and global citizens.

Music Creating and Engineering Club: This a space for producers, musicians, singers, songwriters, or anyone who enjoys making and listening to music.

Outdoor Club: This an opportunity to take part in hiking, skiing, and much more. There will also be learning opportunities to improve your outdoor leadership and knowledge.

Outside the Lines: This is a space for students to join conversations surrounding politics in sports, mainly rule changes, policies, cheating, etc.

Psychology: We will aim to expand our knowledge about psychology through student presentations, articles and research papers, and discussions concerning mental health and social psychology at Riverdale.

Queer/Straight Alliance: This is a space for queer students and straight allies to come together to create an even more LGBTQ+ friendly environment in our school.

RCS Marine Conservation Club: Every week we learn about a new endangered marine animal, endangered biome, or threats to the ocean and its wildlife. We also host bake sales to raise money for different marine conservation organizations.

RCSTV: We are a content creating club that highlights various aspects of Riverdale life. We are looking for editors, camera people, reporters, journalists, actors, graphic designers, and more.

Riverdale 4 Refugees: The purpose of our club is to raise awareness for the refugee crisis through assemblies, speakers, and events. We work with various organizations, such as IsraAID, Letters of Love, and the IRC, to both get in touch with refugees as well as provide funding and donations to refugees and larger networks of people helping refugees. 

Riverdale American Red Cross Club: We support the mission of the American Red Cross and help with disaster relief and programs for veterans.

Riverdale Arts Outreach: Our goal is to create a connection with the Amber Charter School.

Riverdale Community Partners: Our club volunteers at Ittleson Center, a residential facility that offers services to children who have experienced domestic emotional trauma.

Riverdale Culinary Club: Our goal is to learn how to cook, share recipes, hear from guest speakers, and most importantly, eat!

Riverdale Dance Team: We perform dances at events throughout the year, such as Homecoming, the Diversity Banquet, and the Best Buddies Prom.

Riverdale Intellectual Disabilities Club / Best Buddies: Best Buddies is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for one-on-one friendships and inclusion for all people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In our club, we work closely with our buddy school, Kingsbridge Heights, to plan fun monthly activities with their students. Our big event is the Best Buddies prom in the spring. It is typically the 11th grade community service project where we invite students from all around New York who have intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Riverdale Photographic Society: Our group provides students with an opportunity to pursue photography in a low commitment, student-run setting.

Riverdale Political Union: Our group meets once a month. We discuss politics and current events, with topics ranging from income inequality and systemic racism to political polarization and the military-industrial complex.

Riverdale Review: Riverdale’s monthly student newspaper.

Riverdale Takes Action: Our mission is to empower and inspire students to take action for a cause meaningful to them. Each month, we will choose a social justice issue and raise awareness about it as well as create projects to address it and get the Riverdale community involved in activism.

Rivertones: We are a student-run, female and non-binary a cappella group! We perform at the winter and spring concerts, Homecoming, and the first day of school.

RivTech: RivTech provides students with a place to learn about technology, robotics, and other computer science topics. There are specific RivTech subgroups including VEX Robotics program, Girls Who Code, Free Digital, Rocketry, and Radio Jove/NASA. We also work maintaining Riverdale Computer Science service projects such as the Looking Glass, the Falcon Games, and UFixit.

Robin Hood: In our club, we find ways to contribute to this nonprofit organization, whether it be through food drives, fundraising events, or volunteer work.

S.E.W. Club: The Speaker Every Week Club was created to give students a chance to meet interesting people while listening to new music.

Seneca: We discuss intersectional feminism and think critically about how we can help empower females and promote gender equality in our community and beyond. This club is part of the larger national Seneca organization, with which we work to promote female leadership, power, and purpose. Our work with them includes helping to run the annual Seneca Forum at The Met.

SMART Team: We look at a specific protein each year and learn about its function, shape, the history of its discovery, etc. to present at an annual symposium..

Spanish Literary Club: We will read books, poems, and short stories written by Spanish-speaking authors, and meet once every two weeks to discuss our reading in Spanish.

Sports Analytics Club: We meet once a week, and study professional and amateur sports through statistics and data. We will learn about different statistical methods and how to apply them to sports analysis.

Summer Camp Community: Through our club, we will create a community of summer camp loving Riverdale students. We will partner with organizations such SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education), a non-profit that creates scholarships for children to attend summer camp.

Sustainability Club: Our purpose is to educate the Riverdale community about sustainability and implement sustainable changes to our campus including improvements to Riverdale’s recycling systems.

Table Talk: Our purpose is to give students a safe space for discussions about issues pertinent to the student experience.s.Table Talk: A game of conversations

TEDxRCS: We give students an opportunity to improve their public speaking skills by creating their very own Ted Talk.

Testostertones: We are Riverdale’s all-male a cappella group, open to men and nonbinary folx. We sing two songs (in various genres of music ranging from classical to pop) at both the winter and spring choral concerts.

The Entrepreneurship Club: Our purpose is to teach students what it means to be an entrepreneur and give everyone the opportunity to create their own business.

The Open Society: A forum for civil discussion about the issues that matter most.

Trial Advocacy/Mock Trial: The goal of this activity is to develop public speaking and even acting skills while gaining a better understanding of the US legal system. During a typical school year, we construct case strategy and arguments for the prosecution and defense against another team. We then take our arguments to a national mock trial competition against other schools in real courthouses downtown

Women in Business: Our group discusses topics that specifically affect female professionals. We hear from women in the business world within our community, from parents to alumni who work in various fields, from financial advisors to client relation associates.

Women in Sports: We explore sexism within Riverdale athletics and the student body and we highlight Riverdale and professional female athletes.

Yearbook: We design and produce the yearbook. We take photographs of student activities, advisories, and athletics; write copy; and use photo-editing design programs to layout pages.

Zawadi by Youth: We are a student-run, non-profit, microfinance club that strives to alleviate poverty in communities throughout the world. Our goal is to foster financial independence, financial sustainability, financial literacy, and community development by making microloans to primarily female entrepreneurs who lack access to traditional financial services. Moreover, we collaborate with the larger microfinance community by attending events organized by the National High School Microfinance Coalition, an organization founded by Zawadi members.


Upper School Programs