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The Ridgefield Academy curriculum is focused on developing the whole child. Service Learning is an integral curriculum component at RA where students apply their knowledge and skills to address real life needs in their communities. RA students are committed to make a difference in the lives of others in need at the local and global level. Issues ranging from hunger, poverty, inequity, and the environment are just a few of the issues students have addressed by collecting and donating food and warm coats to the homeless, visiting food pantries to explore the issue of local and global hunger, delivering crafts to the elderly at the holidays, and responding to natural disasters.

RA Service Learning builds character. It teaches students to be thankful for the lives they have and to empathize with others less fortunate. Fostering civic responsibility results in students being able to see different perspectives. Additionally, they develop confidence and a sense of empowerment as they discover they can have a lasting impact in the community.

Last Tuesday, the RA Middle and Upper School Chorus invited approximately 60 guests from Ability Beyond to a Holiday Concert in Hope Hall on the Ridgefield campus. Ability Beyond is a non-profit organization empowering people with disabilities for over 60 years and helping them become an integral part of their communities. Today, with over 3,000 people benefiting from their services across New York and Connecticut, Ability Beyond is at the forefront of developing innovative programs and best practices that are being recognized and adopted on a national basis. After the concert, RA students in the choir spent quality time talking and visiting with their guests. RA students understand that these small acts of kindness are important and meaningful, not only to those receiving them but, also to our students who support others especially during the holiday season.

In addition to the Ability Beyond concert, this fall RA has been active in many school wide service projects supporting and assisting organizations such as Safewalk (benefiting the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury), Ridgefield Food Pantry (food drives in September and November), Habitat for Humanity (holiday gift wrapping), Inspirica and Toys for Tots (holiday toy drive), Community Center of Northern Westchester (coat and warm clothing drive) to name a few. RA will continue to support the surrounding community throughout the new year, giving back to those who need it most.