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Dr. Michele Borba at Rumson Country Day School earlier this month.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

There was a high demand for tissues in the auditorium at the Rumson Country Day School when internationally recognized educator, speaker and best-selling author Dr. Michele Borba shared emotional anecdotes and studies to support the central theme of her book Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in this All-About-Me World.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Joyful voices rang throughout the commons. Melodic tunes from the band carried down the hall from the auditorium. From outside on the fields came the sound of dramatic sketches, and from the parents came oohing and ahhing of admiration, as children excitedly pointed out their projects that decorated the walls of the school.

On May 18, over 600 parents, students and teachers experienced the infectious passion of The Second Annual RCDS Arts Festival at The Rumson Country Day School.

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On May 12, students from Rumson Country Day School and Red Bank Primary helped kick off Horizons’ Giving Day celebration with a special Field Day of activities. 

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

The buzz of eager children reverberated across the campus of The Rumson Country Day School last Friday, May 12, as RCDS lower school students gathered on the bleachers to welcome their friends from Red Bank Primary School. After a brief introduction, the Red Bank Eagles and RCDS Gators joined forces to create red and white teams for a friendly competitive field day hosted by RCDS and Horizons Student Enrichment Program.

With the help of dedicated 7th grade volunteers and staff, RCDS and Horizons opened their campus to their Red Bank neighbors, in an efforts to provide a fun experience for the students and to kick off Horizons’ Annual Giving Day, which took place on Wednesday, May 17.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

It was the 1960s when a police chief visited Darryl Breckenridge’s home to offer Darryl’s mother a job. During the visit, the chief placed his hat on young Darryl’s head. It was this moment that inspired Darryl to become a police officer.

Fast forward to the 1980s, when Darryl was driving through Asbury Park to get a haircut and he saw the red and blue flash of police lights in his rearview mirror. That night he was pulled over by police because of his skin color.

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Monmouth County SPCA Officer Becker and Chief Licitra joined police therapy dog Hunter for a visit to the Pre-K classroom at Rumson Country Day School last week.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

On Thursday, April 12, the Student Council at The Rumson Country Day School held a fundraising Casual Dress Day to benefit the Monmouth County SPCA. Students donated $5 to participate in the special day, and were asked to wear orange to raise awareness for the cause. The total raised for the day was $1,600.

RCDS seventh grader Sheridan Sainato, a youth ambassador of the MCSPCA, was the catalyst for the fundraiser, with her volunteer work and passion for the cause having been recently recognized by the Eatontown-based organization.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Continuing a springtime tradition that spans the generations, The Rumson Country Day School will host its 48th annual Rummage Sale — popularly known as A Whale of a Sale — on the weekend of April 29 and 30.

Open to the public, the sale is one of the most important fundraisers at RCDS, with proceeds devoted to the financial aid program, which provides tuition assistance to many children who attend the school.  Although the financial aid program is the primary beneficiary of the event, other local charities also benefit including the ASPCA, 180 Turning Lives Around, HABcore and more.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Chris Hall stood up straight with his shoulders back and eyes on the audience as he approached the podium to deliver his opening statement at the Jersey Shore Debate Tournament, held at Deane-Porter Elementary School on Saturday, March 11.

Hall, an eighth grader from The Rumson Country Day School, was named “Top Speaker” among the 11 students on the RCDS debate team, which competed against about 50 other students from seven schools in the area.

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Biting cold reduced the turnout from years past, but the fifth annual Rumson St. Patricks Day Parade was another yet another spirited affair Sunday.

Were you there, or do you know someone who was? Check out our photos below for familiar faces. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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The fifth annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade caps a weekend of celebrations of Irish heritage Sunday.

It’s the kind of tradition that’s become something of a Celtic-cottage industry in itself: an event heralded by a full slate of fundraisers, competitions (essays, posters, soda bread), corned beef ‘n cabbage dinners, Irish seisuns, and even a “green tree lighting” ceremony that would give pause to Mr. Claus. All very appropriate to a ritual that’s been part of the fabric of local life for all of… four years.

Wait, what? While it’s true that the Rumson St. Patricks Day Parade is still in short pants,  the annual occurrence has quickly assumed a pivotal place of prominence in community life. And when it returns for a fifth edition this Sunday, it will have cemented its staying power in the hearts of the Greater Red Bank Green, even as those minty Shamrock Shakes come and go.

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Storyteller-StudentsStoryteller Len Cabral address students at Rumson Country Day School in January 17 assembly. In addition to learning about Dr. King, the students learned about their school’s history during a special Scavenger Hunt event on January 20.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

On Tuesday, January 17, the students of Rumson Country Day School attended a special assembly to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A gifted orator, Dr. King used the power of words to inspire others and to achieve seemingly impossible goals. The overall theme of the assembly focused on the values that Dr. King’s legacy upholds, specifically kindness, which parallels the qualities of character that are the cornerstone of the RCDS experience.

The main event featured Len Cabral, an internationally acclaimed storyteller who has been enchanting audiences with his storytelling performances at schools,  libraries, museums and festivals since 1976.

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rcds-forensicsSophia and Kathryn, two students at Rumson Country Day School, learned the fundamentals of teamwork, confidence building and public speaking, during the school’s recent Forensics Festival.

On Saturday, December 3, some 45 students from five schools competed at the annual Forensics Festival hosted at The Rumson Country Day School, vying for top honors in  categories that included dramatic pairs, storytelling, and humorous interpretation of literature.

Two RCDS sixth graders named Sophia and Kathryn were among the participants who secured a finalist award, both of them crediting “working with a supportive partner” for their win in the dramatic pairs competition. For Kathryn — a new student at the school this year — the Forensics Festival represented an “opportunity to work closely with a partner and make new friends,” while smoothing the sometimes difficult experience of transitioning to a new school.

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Hoops for HorizonsThe three day interval of March 3-5 marked the annual Albert E. Martin Jr. Hoops for Horizons event at Rumson Country Day School; a fundraiser for the private school’s Horizons Summer Enrichment Program and a tournament in which six squads of “Future Bucs” from Red Bank were invited by RCDS athletic director Paul Campanella to take part. Hailing from Red Bank Middle School and (as with the four players pictured above) Red Bank Charter School, the two girls’ teams and four boys’ teams participated in the 15th edition of the yearly three-day tournament. Also on the court were four teams of young men (ages 18-29) from Red Bank, two of which met in the finals to deliver the borough its second consecutive championship. Named for the late Albert E. Martin Jr., a Red Bank Regional student who took part in the charity event each year, Hoops for Horizons funds a summer academic and recreation program that serves more than 135 at-risk children from the Red Bank community each year. (Photo courtesy of David Prown)


LilShakes1A cast and crew of teens from local schools rehearse A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, the annual “Little Shakespeare” production  that presents four public performances this weekend. (Photos courtesy of Two River Theater Company)

They hail from Red Bank Regional, Markham Place Middle School and Rumson Country Day School — and they meet by moonlight in the enchanted woods outside Athens, as conjured by William Shakespeare in his most kinetic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Actually, the forest faeries, passionate young lovers and amateur actors of the Bard’s most magical mystery tour will assemble inside the “black box” performance space at Two River Theater this week. And when the imaginary curtain goes up on this Midsummer Night for 10 performances between April 23 (Shakespeare’s birthday) and May 1, it will mark the latest in a new series of annual productions presented   under a program entitled “A Little Shakespeare.”

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Rummage2015Press release from Rumson Country Day School

It’s popularly known as A Whale of a Sale — and for the 46th year, The Rumson Country Day School will open its doors to the public for the annual two-day Rummage Sale.

Going on Saturday, April 18 (9 am to 4 pm) and Sunday, April 19 (10:30 am to 2 pm), the yearly event brings together the entire parent body and many of the students, faculty, administration, staff, alumni, and friends for a huge display of items (ranging from boutique treasures to household and family necessities) in the school’s Blake Gymnasium.

The Rummage Sale is one of the most important fundraisers at The Rumson Country Day School, with all proceeds devoted to the Financial Aid program, which provides tuition assistance to many children who attend the school.

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Hoops for HorizonsPress release from Rumson Country Day School

The 13th annual Hoops for Horizons 3-on-3 basketball tournament will kick off at The Rumson Country Day School on Thursday, March 5; running through Saturday, March 7 with all funds raised benefitting the Horizons Student Enrichment Program. The charity event will be held in honor of Albert E. Martin, Jr., the Red Bank Regional High School basketball player who died suddenly in December 2012. A Horizons graduate, Albert played in the Hoops tournament every year to give back to the program that made a difference in his life.

All boys and girls grades 5 and up are welcome to participate in the Albert E. Martin, Jr. Hoops for Horizons tournament. According to Horizons Executive Director Lori Hohenleitner, nearly 200 basketball players of all ages played in last year’s tournament, which raised nearly $75,000 for Horizons; a tremendous boost for the program which relies fully on private funding.

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RCDS GradPress release from Rumson Country Day School

It was a beautiful, sunny day for The Rumson Country Day School’s eighth grade Class of 2014, as they arrived on the RCDS campus on June 6 for their Upper School Graduation. The 49 boys and girls came to school one last time dressed as every RCDS graduate before them — in navy jackets, white slacks and ties for the boys, and beautiful, long white gowns for the girls — but this ceremony was the second time the Class of 2014 gathered as a group that day.

Earlier that morning, the boys and girls participated in the annual Class Day, a longstanding and much anticipated tradition where RCDS students come to school on the last day dressed in formal dress code. Students were seated by class grade in the gymnasium with eighth graders being in the first row, seventh graders in the second, all the way to the Beginners (Kindergarten) in the last row. After a formal acknowledgement of their hard work by Headmaster Chad Small, each moved up a row to signify their promotion to the next grade. This year, Headmaster Small — who completes his final year at RCDS this month — became an honorary eighth grader and recessed down the center aisle for the last time. The school also honored (and surprised) Mr. Small with a moving video that celebrated his remarkable run as the school’s Head Gator for the past 25 years.

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sourceIn partnership with the Horizon Student Enrichment Program in Rumson, and donated space in the River Street Commons, the RBR SOURCE was able to create a valuable evening tutoring program for students in the community. 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Red Bank Regional High School offers many opportunities for their students to excel and succeed, including after-school tutoring at the high school. Recently, though, math teacher Sunny Lenhard identified an unmet need.

“One day I had two students at my door at 7:30 in the morning, asking, pleading for help,” she recalls.  Their homework paper was worn through from their constant erasures.  They exclaimed, ‘We can’t go to after-school help because of sports and no one for ten miles around here knows how to help with this math!’”

She discovered that other students had similar needs — especially if they had to leave directly after school for work or home obligations. She mentioned the issue to Suzanne Keller, Freshman Academy Supervisor, and director of THE SOURCE, RBR’s School Based Youth Services Program, whose mission is “To remove all obstacles that impede the success of young people in the community.”

Ms. Keller presides over the SOURCE’s community advisory board, and brought the need to that entity. Lori Hohenleitner, the Executive Director of Horizons Student Enrichment Program (based in Rumson) and The SOURCE advisory council member, thought this presented a great opportunity to help out RBR and also fulfill her organization’s desire to expand their services at the high school level.

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4gradeteamRumson Country Day School fourth graders Christopher Tsimbinos and Alex Mitchell have qualified for the national Math League competition, to be held in Houston, TX on June 7.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Last Monday, April 28, The Rumson Country Day Schoo participated in the Math League state competition at The Elisabeth Morrow School in Englewood, NJ, where students from fourth to sixth grades tested their math skills against one another. Sixteen schools from Monmouth, Mercer, Morris, Bergen, Union, Essex, and Somerset counties participated in the state competition. RCDS took fourth place overall, with several individual and grade level distinctions for excellence.

In the individual competition, RCDS fourth graders Chris Tsimbinos and Alexander Mitchell placed third and fourth, respectively, at their grade level. Placing in the top ten qualified the boys to compete at Nationals that will be held in Houston, Texas on June 7.

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BandieraRCDSBon Jovi guitarist and Jersey Shore music legend Bobby Bandiera (center) joined students Anthony Flora, Kyle Ward, Max Kyrillos, Glen Wise, James Ruggiero and Dillon Butler during the recent Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert at Rumson Country Day School.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

The afternoon of Sunday, April 27 was a warm and sunny spring day, but The Rumson Country Day School was also turning up the heat in the Blake Gymnasium, where 250 people assembled for a benefit rock concert. The student-driven benefit was the brainchild of RCDS eighth grader Max Kyrillos, who got the idea from the 12-12-12 relief concert in New York City. Together with a group of fellow RCDS classmates, the student volunteers planned the Students Rock Out for Sandy Ground Benefit Concert, organizing everything from concessions to crowd control, and raised more than $9,000.

Net proceeds will help the Sandy Ground Project to build 26 new playgrounds that are a living memorial to each victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Karen and Joe Burke from the Where Angels Play Foundation were at the event, as well as Mark Jones, Vice President of External Affairs for JCP&L, who presented a check for $1,500. Alumni parent, J. Robert Small, parent of Elizabeth Small ’12, generously offered a matching challenge grant of up to $1,000. Mr. Small started Helping Highlands Survivors, a charity organization that has worked closely with The Sandy Ground Project to raise funds for the Daniel Barden Playground in the Highlands.

Bobby Bandiera of Bon Jovi fame made a special appearance and gave the teen musicians the thrill of playing with a famous rock musician for a great cause. The noted guitarist was also part of another legendary New Jersey band Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes. The concert also featured two local teen bands including Max’s band, The Stone Bullets, and Ardvark Smile, a popular local band from Middletown and the musical duo of RCDS teacher Tom Scott and RCDS security officer Tom Mancuso.

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RabbiBerg2Named as one of the Top 50 Rabbis in the country by Newsweek, Rumson Country Day School graduate Rabbi Peter S. Berg returned to RCDS to meet with Mrs. Kolb’s Beginner (kindergarten) class last week.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

On Tuesday, April 8, students at Rumson Country Day School were treated to a visit by a special guest who also happens to be a former RCDS student in his own right — Rabbi Peter S. Berg. Now in his sixth year as The Temple’s Senior Rabbi in Atlanta, Georgia, Rabbi Berg has had an illustrious and multi-faceted career as a dynamic religious and community leader — one who embodies the RCDS core values Kind, Honest, Responsible, and Respectful — and in 2013, the Class of ’86 graduate was named one of the “Top 50 Rabbis” in the United States by Newsweek.

Founded over 150 years ago, “The Temple” is Atlanta’s oldest and largest synagogue, and one of American Judaism’s most famous institutions. The spiritual home to 1500 families, with six active clergy and two dozen full-time professional staff members, it also serves as a multi-generational educational center and social hub for its congregation.

The Temple, however, goes beyond these more traditional institutional roles by leading an additional “social justice” effort in the city of Atlanta; running an on-site facility for homeless couples, partnering with the Toomer Public School, and “swapping pulpits” with Ebenezer Baptist Church, for example.  In recent years, it has also reached across the state of Georgia, organizing local, state, and Jewish leadership to join forces in combating the trafficking of minors. The Temple was also included in Newsweek Magazine’s current list of the “25 Most Vibrant Congregations in America.”

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AardvarkBandieraArdvark Smile and legendary Shore guitarist Bobby Bandiera are among the acts taking part in the second annual benefit concert at Rumson Country Day School, April 27.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Two generations of Jersey Shore musicians will entertain — and a new playground will be dedicated in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut — when The Rumson Country Day School hosts its second annual benefit concert event on Sunday, April 27.

The concert, a student initiative that will benefit Sandy Ground, will feature The Stone Bullets, Ardvark Smile and a special appearance by Bobby Bandiera, touring guitarist for Bon Jovi and ringmaster of the Jersey Shore Rock ‘N Soul Revue events at the Count Basie Theatre.

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RCDSRummageChairs14Rumson Country Day School parent Karin Devlin (right) is joined by her “Whale of a Sale” co-chairs Nancy Mazzei (left) and Jennifer Mullins (center) and their children in preparation for the school’s 45th annual event on April 12th and 13th. The RCDS gymnasium and back “patio” of the school will be filled with items ranging from clothing, housewares, furniture to sports equipment, linens, toys and bikes…with all sales benefitting the school’s financial aid program.


IMG_9553Joseph Kyrillos meets famous New Jersey natives William “Count” Basie (Lydia Lu) and fellow public servant Grover Cleveland (Emma Wachtel), during the NJ State Senator’s recent visit to Rumson Country Day School.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

It was one of the most special days of the school year calendar at Rumson Country Day School — “IRP Day,” when fourth grade students of the Lower School at RCDS dressed in character as some of  New Jersey’s most famous natives — and presented a special program for parents, fellow students and honored guests that included NJ State Senator Joseph Kyrillos.

IRP stands for Independent Research Project — and for their project in honor of New Jersey’s 350th birthday, the fourth graders each selected a person who has been an important part of Garden State history.

The students prepared research papers on their chosen subjects, who ranged from U.S. Presidents to musicians and even popular children’s book author Judy Blume. They also decorated posters, and transformed into character for the video portion of the project, with each class creating a movie of students reciting their own original monologues.

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Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Imagine a place where middle school students are encouraged to argue. On Saturday, March 1, Rumson Country Day School students were among 32 teams that participated in the Garden State Debate Tournament, held at Clifton T. Barkalow School in Freehold.

All public charter, independent and parochial middle schools are invited to participate. The following schools participated in the tournament: Clifton T. Barkalow Middle School (Freehold); Joseph R. Bolger Middle School (Keansburg); The Hun School (Princeton); Mother Teresa Regional School (Atlantic Highlands); Our Lady of Sorrows (Hamilton); Red Bank Charter School (Red Bank); Stone Bridge Middle School (Allentown) and The Wilberforce School (Princeton).

Competing for trophies in the categories of Best Speaker, Top Team and Best Overall School, RCDS came in second overall for percentages of wins. The students learned to debate on opposing sides of four issues, and posed well-researched arguments in the following topics: “Ukraine should join the European Union;” “Delay Obamacare;” and “Immunizations should not be mandated.”

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RCDSaFrom left: RCDS Board President Shawn Reynolds, Christine Reynolds, Headmaster Chad Small, RCDS Board Vice President Danielle Devine Greene ’79 and Gregory Greene.

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Family and friends of The Rumson Country Day School community came out to celebrate Headmaster Chad B. Small’s last year at the school, during the RCDS Gator Ball on Saturday, February 8.

Gator Ball is the Parent Council’s signature fundraising event of the year, and benefits a wide variety of educational programs for RCDS students. The black-tie event, which was held at the school’s completely transformed Blake Gymnasium, included entertainment by the popular Monmouth County band Brian Kirk & The Jirks, as well as silent auctions and a live auction led by Nick Dawes from the PBS television series Antiques Roadshow. Among the items auctioned was a final chance to serve as RCDS “Headmaster for a Day” with Headmaster Small, before the school year ends.

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