For decades, Country Day has waged a holiday donation effort to benefit the Bradley Center, a facility that offers residential, psychological, and educational services for high-risk children who are unable to live at home with their families. The school also collects hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves for the Pittsburgh Homeless Children’s Educational Fund.
In most recent years, Country Day has participated in a very special community service program to raise funds for the American Heart Association called Jump Rope For Heart. These events, held at schools nationwide, not only help students learn about the benefits of regular physical activity and heart health but also raise funds to support vital heart and stroke research as well as educational programs.
At Country Day there is a popular and successful in-school buddy system. Fifth grade and kindergarten students pair up twice a month to interact socially, to complete projects together, and to enjoy playground time. The fifth graders also have second grade buddies with whom they practice oral reading once a week. The fourth grade and pre-kindergarten students also spend special time together on a regular basis. They play, build, draw, talk, read, and enjoy each other a lot. Other grades also team up for learning experiences, physical activities, science classes, and recess.
The Buddy Program has been such a success with the students that we implemented Buddy Families for all incoming students and their parents to help them navigate their first year at Country Day. One more example of a creative buddy program is the one shared with the Presbyterian Home in Oakmont, PA. The oldest students annually “adopt” a grandparent and spend time throughout the year visiting that person, creating projects together, and getting to know someone who is in a different phase of life.