• Outreach •
As part of the Riverdale Nursery School and Family Center’s mission of supporting hands-on learning and cultivating social awareness, the school is dedicated to age-appropriate philanthropy and community outreach. In 2006, in the spirit of “giving back,” RNSFC formalized the Community Partnership Program (CPP), which manages the work of the following three programs:
- The Giving Tree
- Family Service Projects
- Parent Education & Awareness
The CPP guides and oversees the work and objectives for each of these programs and it ensures that they have relevance to and resonance with the school’s children. Descriptions of each of the CPP programs are as follows:
The Giving Tree
The Giving Tree is the cornerstone of CPP. It is a seasonal community outreach program that is dedicated to enriching and/or giving back to the community in which the school operates. In keeping with the spirit of a green school, the projects are symbolized by an actual tree on which are hung paper “leaves.” The goal is to support at least three Giving Trees per year. Some examples of past giving trees are: collecting canned food and dry goods to donate for Thanksgiving, a winter clothes drive for a woman’s shelter and the donation of new and gently used books for a children’s hospital.
Family Service Projects
While all of the CPP projects involve some student and teacher participation, the Family Service Projects program specifically focuses on community outreach and family involvement in age-appropriate community service projects. The goal is to support at least two service projects per year. For example, in the past we cleaned-up, painted and planted shrubbery at MacLaughlin Playground on Greystone Avenue as part of the citywide “Its My Park Day.” We initiated a Penny Harvest at the school and we also help facilitate bake sales with the proceeds being donated to a local mental health organization.
Parent Education & Awareness
The Parent Education & Awareness program is centered around the school partnering and dialoging with parents on how best to foster community involvement and service, and to fertilize the seeds of philanthropy with young children. For example, community leaders or experts are periodically called in to speak and make presentations, helpful articles and resources are distributed via tote bags, and parent discussion groups are held in order for parents to share ideas and best practices. As part of these efforts we brought Dr. Jeremy Leeds, Director of the Center for Community Values and Action at the Horace Mann School, to speak in December 2007 on “Planting the Seeds of Social Responsibility in Pre-School Children.”
From time to time you will be hearing about the work of the CPP advisory committee via the tote bag messaging system and we hope you share our excitement about its importance to the school, to your children, and to the surrounding Riverdale community.