Citizenship Spotlight: Public Purpose Community Dinner 2019

At the Public Purpose Community Dinner, a wonderful annual tradition, students, families, faculty, and community partners gathered to celebrate the many ways students have made a meaningful difference this year. The evening began with an exhibit of service learning projects in which student representatives from each project shared and reflected on the impact of their work. Director of Public Purpose Rebecca Drago began the program by asking attendees to discuss what Public Purpose means to them. She then reflected,"For me understanding the concept of Public Purpose begins with some self-reflection – who am I, what have I been taught about the world, what do I actually believe and see and notice in the world, and how can I then work to make the world a more equitable, just, and loving place. Then, Public Purpose calls for us to do a lot of what you all just did: connecting, building relationships, and strengthening community."

Xio Rivera '19 and Aisling Sullivan '19 delivered keynote speeches about their collaboration with Caritas Food Bank. For Xio, the work at Caritas helped shape his perception of and connection with members of his local community. He reflected, "I knew that outside of the doors of Caritas, each of the people who were there had a story and a life, and I was able to make a change in that life, and the lives of many others." Aisling spoke about how, as a first year spanish language student, she felt grateful to the people at Caritas for helping her learn and practice the language she now loves.

Thank you to the students, faculty, and staff who worked throughout the year to make the Public Purpose program a core component of a Rye Country Day education. A special thank you to our community partners for their generosity and spirit of collaboration!

Featured Projects and Partnerships:

A-Chord with Kids
Upper School
Evalise Melgar '20, Valeria Morales Ciriaco '20

American Cancer Society
Middle School Service Learning Group
Gabriella Lee '24, Eva Salzman '24, Aaden Johnson '24, Anna Franzino '24, Ava Herzog '24, Avery Gershwin '24, Caroline Lazar '24, Isabella Pedone '24, Julia Wallach '24, Lauren Taubin '24

Ark Charities
Middle School Service Learning Group
Lauren Slovin '25, Julia Heintz '25, Allison Bauer '25, Shea Hollwedel '25

Blind Brook Stream Project
Lower School and Upper School
Charlie G. '28, Leyla A. '28, Charlotte K. '28, Marshall B. '28, Matt Guo '20, Sadie Silverman Guffey '20, Eesha Narain '21

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
Middle School Service Learning Group
Carter Appleyard '23, Julia Eason '23

Caritas Spanish Class Partnership
Upper School
Aisling Sullivan '19, Xio Rivera '19

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
All School Event
Ava M. '27, Henry B. '27, Ellora S. '27, Michael A. '27

E.E. Ford Community Engagement Fellowship
Upper School
Christopher Connor '20, Eesha Narain '21

Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund
Middle School Service Learning Group
Isabel Tiburcio '24

Kids Heart Challenge and Fun Run
Lower School
Catherine L. '28, Arya S. '28, Kaitlin K. '28, Hudson P. '28

Second Grade Long Island Sound Calendars
Lower School
Emma W. '29, Frederick F. '29, Thomas P. '29, Olivia P. '29

SHOC: Students Having Open Conversation
Upper School
Sadie Silverman Guffey '20, Patricia Bautista '19, Sabrina Reznik '20, Kyle Mandell '21, Kelly Falcon '22

Single Stream Recycling Team
Lower School
Zara K. '27, Liliana L. '27, Sara K. '27, Caroline P. '27, Lillian P. '27

The AP with WE Service Project: Wema
Upper School
Deepta Gupta '21, Cameron Goddard '21, Max Weinstein '21, Matthew Harkness '21

The AP WE Service Project: The Community Resource Center
Upper School
Natalie Sanchez '19, Alexandra Medow '19, Katie Lefever '21, Kevin Garcia '20, Muhamed Ka '21

The AP WE Service Project: The Rye Nature Center Virtual Garden
Upper School
Benjamin Solo '21, Andrew Felton '21, Matthew Mandell '21, Joseph Farrell '19, Nicholas Sullivan '20, Conrad Crakes '19, Matthew Guo '20

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Middle School Service Learning Group
Samantha Lee '25, Isabela Pierry '25, Isabella Jolicoeur '25

The Coachman Family Center
Middle School Service Learning Group
Eve Shurslep '25, Julia Blake '25, Emily Cheigh '25, Elise Prather '25, Madeleine Prather '25, Emma Silberstein '25, Leah Steyn '25, Ellie Block '25

The SCOPE Program at RCDS
Upper School
Caroline Antonacci '20, Lucie Swan '20

The SET Program at RCDS
Upper School
Camila Hirani '19, Charlotte Townley '19, Alexandra Medow '19

Third Grade Poetry Share at the Osborn
Lower School
Zachary M. '28, Zoe W. '28, Reese M. '28, Benjamin K. '28

Middle School Service Learning Group
Samantha Sawhney '23, Olivia Craig '23

Villalobos Pet Rescue
Middle School Service Learning Group
Madison Haft-Abromovitch '24, Elizabeth Kavanagh '24, Isabella Romita '24

Middle School Service Learning Group
David Colin '24, Sameer Hirani '24, Danielle Penn '24

Westchester NOW
Middle School Service Learning Group
Makayla Blake '23

Wildlife Conservation Society/The Bronx Zoo
Middle School Service Learning Group
Sofia Castaneda '24, Charles Gao '24, Jonah Gurion '24, Theodore Holtman '24, Dillon Hurst '23, Hans Larsen '23, Dylan Mentzer '23, Sydney Merrill '23, Liana Talpins '23, Arthur Wang '23, Natan Wiegenfeld '24