Rippowam Cisqua School recently began its 95th year of teaching and learning. Predicated on a commitment to hands-on learning, and guided by a mission that reminds students to cultivate a strong sense of connection to their community and to the larger world, ninth grade students and teachers traveled to Shenorock, NY, for a two-day Habitat for Humanity project on Wednesday, September 12th.
Rippowam Cisqua School has had a longstanding relationship with Habitat for Humanity of Westchester and, this year, the students and teachers tackled two projects. At one work site, students helped organize material inside a house under construction, and also measured and installed plywood over exposed insulation to prevent animals from entering. Students had the opportunity to meet the mother of the family who will be moving in once the work is complete.
The other work site was part of Habitat for Humanity's "A Brush With Kindness" program, which helps homeowners maintain the exterior of their homes and revitalize their neighborhoods. Many of the residents who benefit from “Brushes with Kindness” have lived in their homes for decades and raised their families there, but find it difficult to keep up with necessary improvements. For this project, the students removed brush, trimmed trees, cleaned off the roof, and removed debris from the gutters. The homeowner, who was helping to care for two sick relatives, was grateful for the assistance.
On Friday, the RCS Class of 2013 gathered at Head of School Matthew Nespole's residence for a leadership retreat following the two days of community service. During the retreat, the students reflected on their experiences. “A memorable moment for me was when [the homeowner] was telling us how grateful she was for our work," wrote one student. "It was memorable because I know that we were helping someone who needed help.”
Chris Perry, a science teacher at the Upper Campus and also the Ninth Grade Dean, talked about the value of involving middle and high school students in these projects. “Seeing kids give of their time and energy to care for people in the county is what I love about this type of service effort. In this day and age of communication through computer, an opportunity like this allows our kids to work as a team to accomplish a goal. It also gives them a chance to connect with, and learn from, other people.”
Rippowam Cisqua School is a co-educational, independent country day school for students in grades PreKindergarten through Nine, with campuses in Bedford and Mount Kisco, New York. For more information on the School’s mission and philosophy, please visit www.rcsny.org, or call (914) 244-1292 or email email@example.com.