The RCDS Community Engagement Fellowship Program
The Community Engagement Fellowship Program at Rye Country Day School enables RCDS Upper School students to partner with a community organization to develop and implement innovative, sustainable projects that address the needs of the organization.
The Community Engagement Fellowship program at RCDS was conceived out of a recognition of the importance of purpose-driven citizenship. The program launched in 2016 with a $50,000 grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, which was matched by donations from the RCDS community. The foundation grant funded the program for four successful years, concluding in 2019. Since then, generous support of anonymous donors has enabled Rye Country Day to continue the beloved Public Purpose fellowship.
The program's goal is to offer summer volunteer opportunities for students and to foster ongoing partnerships between RCDS and local community organizations. Fellows collaborate with community partner organizations and RCDS faculty members on all phases of their projects (faculty offer cross-disciplinary guidance as the fellows chart their paths to active community engagement). Upper School students who are accepted as Community Engagement Fellows spend the summer completing their projects with funding provided by the RCDS community. This allows community organizations to benefit from the students' enthusiasm and passion at no cost, and it enables Upper School students from all socioeconomic backgrounds with a commitment to public purpose to participate.
Community and academic partnerships are at the heart of this program, and a commitment to the RCDS motto, Not for Self, but for Service, is the fellows' guiding principle.