September 14, 2016 – At RCS, our service learning program focuses on philanthropy and community partnership.
This year’s ninth graders began the school year with an entire day of service, first working with younger students on the Lower Campus, and then volunteering their time in the surrounding Bedford/Mount Kisco community.
The day started on the Rippowam Cisqua School Lower Campus where ninth graders partnered with students in the first through fourth grades, writing letters of gratitude to women and men actively serving in the armed forces.
“It was great to talk to the little kids, and teach them that they can bring so much joy just by writing letters,” said ninth grader Grace about the Operation Gratitude program.
Then the ninth graders moved off campus to work at two A-Home houses in Mount Kisco. They pruned bushes, weeded, raked leaves, spread mulch, planted mums, and repaired a cracked section of blacktop.
Reflecting on their work with A-Home, ninth grader Findley said, “At first I thought it wouldn’t make much of a difference. But when I saw the people’s faces and smiles, I realized doing little things makes a difference in your community.”
The final stop was to a program at Westmoreland Sanctuary that focuses on invasive species. Students worked on the sanctuary property to remove invasives from an area that will eventually become a meadow.
At Ripp, we know how important it is to get students outside the classroom. Community service days are one way we teach students to think critically about the world around them – and how they can make a difference.