RCDS is thrilled to present "A Word from Our Experts", a monthly blog-like piece authored by our expert team of faculty and staff. See here for a word from Upper School Service Learning Coordinator Amy Clark who elaborates on the mission of our Service Learning program and one of RCDS’s greatest service initiatives.
RCDS’s four pillars - Kind, Honest, Responsible, Respectful - are the foundation of our school, but also the foundation of building good human beings. With real experiences and face-to-face encounters, our students are strengthening these pillars. Service Learning is just one of the ways they can build these crucial life skills. Through learning about real-life problems, students are able to understand the needs of those in their community. They are empowered when they realize the differences they can make and that one child, when joined by his/her peers, can make a huge impact.
All human beings have the same needs. Our basic physical needs are usually the ones that come to mind first: food, shelter, and air. At our school, our service learning initiatives strive to help those in our community when they are in need. Our most noticeable effort must be our Rice and Beans Drive for the Red Bank Crop Walk. Each year our students are introduced to the needs in our county and the nutritional value of rice and beans. They set goals for our school and work together to reach them. In recent years, the Red Bank Crop Walk has grown to depend on our kindness and generosity. We are now one of the largest donors to their food drive. Last year, we delivered nearly 4,000 pounds of rice and beans! This food has a significant impact on our neighbors in this county.
There are other human needs that we all share - like a sense of self-esteem and a sense of belonging. Our service program strives to not only help others in our community to attain these but to also provide opportunities for our students to attain these as well. By coming together at this time and helping to end hunger near and far, our students are realizing a sense of responsibility to the community they live in and cultivating their own self-esteem by meeting a challenge and seeing what a huge impact their efforts have on the world we all live in.
This year’s food drive began on Monday, October 7th and ends this Sunday, October 20th when we will deliver the food to Red Bank Regional High School. For this particular need, there are lots of ways you can serve. You can send in rice and beans. You can join the RCDS team and walk in the Crop Walk on Sunday, October 20th. In art classes, your child may be working on creating a banner for our school to carry on the walk. Students can volunteer to help load the truck on the big day or they can simply offer to help another student carry their donated food to their homeroom. The Red Bank Crop Walk provides an annual opportunity to use our pillars to impact others in a real and meaningful way.
Our students have shared their kindness in every grain of rice, their sense of responsibility with every bean, and they did all of this with respect for the people in our community. Walking together, one step at a time, ending hunger.
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