A Pre-Kindergarten - Grade 12 co-educational independent day school in Westchester County, New York

RCDS Faculty and Staff Reading List

Readying for the 2019-2020 academic year, faculty and staff read from a list of books examining citizenship.

You're never too old for summer reading! At RCDS, faculty and staff say farewell to the academic year by looking forward to collectively devouring books from a recommended list. Think of it as a school-wide book club that encourages community conversations and energetic exchange of ideas even when campus is a little quiet. This summer, the list is a precursor to the focus of the 2019-2020 academic year: citizenship. One of the "big four" in the RCDS Portrait of a Graduate, the theme of citizenship will be woven into community-wide discussions, curricular conversations, faculty meetings, advisory, and more. For faculty and staff, the reading list is just the beginning of a meaningful year of teaching, learning, and being in community.

Citizenship at RCDS means that students are encouraged and prepared to make a positive difference in the world as aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens. It urges students of all ages to practice empathy, examine local and global issues, appreciate differences in opinion, recognize stereotypes and bias, and embrace and understand the importance of diversity. Aware, engaged, and purpose-driven citizens are upstanders, not bystanders. They are thought leaders and innovators who engage in open, appropriate, and effective interactions across difference. They are changemakers who seek solutions and take bold action to address societal needs and issues.

The 2019-2020 focus on citizenship embodies the Rye Country Day motto of Not for Self, but for Service, and the resulting community conversations and lessons will have poignant relevance for our students through the various stages of their lives. And, of course, a community of seasoned teachers and administrators will tell you there is no better way to prepare for critical discussion and generative debate than to read, read, and read!

Check out the RCDS faculty and staff summer reading list, and, if you're curious or inspired, add one or more to your bookshelf.

  • The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Greg Lukianoff, Jonathan Haidt
  • The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates
  • Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, Michael Eric Dyson (Foreword)
  • The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging by Charles Vogl
  • Good Citizens: Creating Enlightened Society by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Cornel West (Introduction)
  • Engaging Youth: Connecting to Identity, Place, Community, and Nature for a Sustainable Future by Kate Aubin
  • The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack
  • You're More Powerful Than You Think: A Citizen's Guide to Making Change Happen by Eric Liu
  • Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
  • The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
  • Empowering Global Citizens: A World Course by Fernando Reimers
  • Generation Citizen: The Power of Youth in Our Politics by Scott Warren
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
  • Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker
  • Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment by Francis Fukuyama
  • Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact by Joanna Barsh
  • On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
  • Citizen You: Doing Your Part to Change the World by Jonathan Tisch and Karl Weber
  • Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists by Courtney Martin
  • Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing World by Adrienne Marie Brown

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