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 Our Schools - Community Service Program, Mission Statement, and Links



Mission / Vision Statement

(August 2007) The mission of the Riverhead Central School District is to inspire and
academically empower all students to become tomorrow’s leaders by: developing their unique
gifts and potential; providing an environment that fosters integrity, creativity, and respect; and, ensuring
that our students become successful, contributing citizens in a global community.

Community Service Throughout the District
COMMUNITY SERVICE is a major tenet of the Riverhead School District and is part of the District's
Character Education Program. Riverhead's students not only strive for academic excellence but also perform many acts of kindness and community service throughout the year.
     Thank you for supporting Our Schools in their efforts!


(February 28, 2017) Some of the classes at the Pulaski Street School are studying the book WONDER in their classrooms. There are posters and sayings related to the storyline of the book on the hallway walls throughout the building. WONDER is a book about a boy named Auggie, who was born with severe facial deformities. In fifth grade, Auggie begins to attend public school. One of his classmates bullies him and turns his classmates against him, but everyone grows and develops as the story progresses, especially the fifth grade students.

Picking up the WONDER theme, band members under the direction of Lisa Talmage, organized a fundraiser for SmileTrain, an international children’s charity that provides 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in 85+ developing countries. So far, by selling “Gratitude Rocks” at $1 each, the band members have raised $1,250 – enough for five smiles!


(December 15, 2016) Pulaski 5th grader Cecilia Moreno attaches a gift to the Giving Tree. The tree in the lobby at Pulaski Street School is sponsored each year by Clare Belmonte's and Dee Martin's classes at the Pulaski Street School. Students, teachers and staff bring in gifts of hats, gloves and scarves to attach to the tree. The students in these two classes also collected and sold water bottles. They were able to give $91 from their sales to the school social worker for holiday gift giving. Happy Holidays from Pulaski!

Every school in the Riverhead School District has a giving tree. It's called an Angel Tree at the High School. Hundreds of gifts have been purchased and wrapped by students, staff, and teachers throughout the district in an effort to make sure the holidays are happy for all the kids in the district.

The students at the Phillips Avenue School have been busily making cards in an effort to raise funds for the school's food pantry in an effort to make sure everyone can also enjoy a festive holiday meal.

Pulaski Leadership Club

In addition, the Leadership Club at the Pulaski Street School, District Office staff, and many of the schools have been collecting food for the Phillips Pantry.

8th Grade Journalism & Social Media Gives Back

Journalism and Media Class

Kimberly Horvat, an 8th grader in the Journalism and Media Class, wrote an article for Riptide about their card writing project . . .

We thought that writing during the holidays would lift people’s spirits. We are hoping that it will help people who cannot be home and spend the holidays with friends and family. Sam says that, “holidays send a message more than a normal day." Jordan says that, “the holidays is about spending time with friends and family, and the people in the armed forces are around weapons.” Remembering Veterans and children in the hospital is important especially during the holiday season. >More

Caring is the Virtue Word at Aquebogue in November

As part of the November virtue word (Caring), Aquebogue's School Community collected over 30 boxes of food and 10-12 bags/boxes of coats. All items were donated to Phillips Avenue Food Pantry to support the children and community of Riverhead. Pictured are some of the 4th grade students in Mrs. Hudgins' class helping sort the food.


Members of the Real Life Church in Wading River brought in 32 baskets of food for the Student Government sponsored food drive. They also contributed gift cards for turkeys. Student Government Advisor Deborah Nigrel was on hand to help transport the food.
(L-R: Chris, Matthew and Noel Greco)

RHS Leaders Club Hosts Bi-Annual Blood Drive
Blood Drive

The Leaders Club hosted its semi-annual Blood Drive for LI Blood Services. They collected 52 pints of blood for LI Blood Services.
If you gave blood, THANK YOU!
There will be another blood drive in the spring.

Happy Valentine's Day from Roanoke Avenue

Gary Karlson's 3rd grade spent recess inside on a cold winter's day
right before Valentine's Day with members from an area AHRC group home making Valentine's for AHRC community members and their own families. It was a very "heart warming" scene. Happy Valentine's Day!

An Important Holiday Message from the Youth Coalition

Please listen to an important PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT,
which is currently playing on Beach 101.7, from the Riverhead Youth Coalition concerning underage drinking and the Social Host Law.
Click HERE to listen to the latest PSA from the Youth Coalition.


Youth Coalition Participates in Sticker Shock Initiative

Sticker Shock November 2015 from Riverhead CAP on Vimeo.


(November 10, 2015 - Riverhead, NY) Members of the RCSD Youth Coalition particpated in a Sticker Shock
initiative at Riverhead Beverage with support from Riverhead Police Chief Hegermiller and Councilman John Dunleavy. It took place at Riverhead Beverage (998 Osborn Avenue, Riverhead) on Tuesday, November 10.
This is the second time that Riverhead Beverage has participated in the event. 

Sticker Shock is a campaign that aims to reduce underage drinking by limiting youth access to alcohol. 
The goal is to educate adults who might provide alcohol to youth about the law that prohibits furnishing alcohol to minors.  Youth and adult volunteers, including law enforcement, place warning stickers on multi-packs of beer and other alcoholic beverages at participating local stores.  The sticker warns that it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors.  This is the Riverhead Youth Coalition’s third Sticker Shock campaign in the past year. 

  The campaign began after recent surveys taken by students indicated that over half of RHS 12th graders reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and over half of those who drank alcohol reported getting it from a friend or family member who is over 21.  Chief Hegermiller and Councilman Dunleavy are big supporters of the event and helped the students apply the stickers to the beverage packaging. 


Public Service Announcement by the Youth Coalition
CLICK HERE to HEAR Public Service Announcement


(October 16, 2015) Riverhead students recently participated in a project initiated by the Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth in a "Medication Take Back" project. The coalition set up a medication transfer spot at the Tanger Outlets Center. The coalition encouraged community members "to safely and conveniently dispose of their unwanted, unused, and expired medication in a way that would keep them safely
out of the hands of young people and out of the water system.
Message from CAP Social Worker Shannon Kutner.
(October 16, 2015) As a follow up to that effort, youth coalition students have created a Public Service Announcement to reinforce this effort by alerting the public to the medication drop box at the Riverhead Police Department. Community Awareness Program (CAP) social worker Shannon Kutner shared, "A youth coalition from the Riverhead Central School District traveled to Water Mill on October 16th to record their first 
Public Service Announcement (PSA)! The Riverhead Community Coalition partnered with Beach 101.7 to record a PSA to raise awareness about our community's medication drop box,which is located in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department. The PSA will air for the next two weeks on 101.7. Our youth coalition is working hard to make real changes in the community, and we are very proud of them! They will be working on a year long PSA campaign with the radio station - so stay tuned in to 1017 Beach!" 

"Thanks to everyone at the radio station for working so well with us," continued Ms. Kutner, "and thank you to our youth coalition for educating the community about prescription drug abuse!"

If you would like to find out more information about Riverhead Youth Coalition,
please contact Riverhead CAP at (631) 727 3722.

Watch for more Public Service Announcements presented by the RHS Youth Coalition throughout the school year.


Reading and Writing at Pulaski Inspires Giving


(May 19, 2015) Student activism is alive and well at Pulaski. There have been several fund-raising and community service efforts at Pulaski this year that have grown out of students’ studies. The seeds were planted during the school-wide reading of Wonder, which produced a crop of kindness. 

Activism in the form of donations to Kent Animal Shelter were ignited by a nonfiction research writing unit, and
now a reading of THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN has inspired a project called "PENNIES FOR PRIMATES". 

This project was initiated by students in Eileen Mackey's 6th grade class, who recently finished reading THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN, written by Katherine Applegate. >More Giving from Pulaski

Roanoke Students Participate in Pennies for Patients Fund-raiser

Janine Weber's fourth grade class brought in the most pennies.

(May 1, 2015) Roanoke students raised $2,110.87 to contribute to PENNIES FOR PATIENTS--an organization that fights Leukemia and Lymphoma. That's a lot of pennies! Janine Weber's fourth grade class (pictured above)
won the contest for bringing in the most pennies. Way to go Roanoke!
>Pennies for Patients

Five RHS Students Receive Recognition for "Building Bridges"

L-R: Jeremy Bornstien,  Amanda Baron, Mieko Vail, Yom Hashoa Speaker--Werner Reich,
and Samantha Dunn ... Katie McKillip (Not Pictured).

from the Jewish Community Relations Council as part of Yom Hashoa (Holocaust Remembrance)

The United States Congress established the Days of Remembrance as the nation’s annual commemoration of
the Holocaust. Each year state and local governments, military bases, workplaces, schools, religious organizations, and civic centers host observances and remembrance activities for their communities.
These events occur during the Week of Remembrance, which runs from the Sunday before
Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah).

In a Yom Hashoa ceremony at Suffolk County Community College during the week of April 20th, five RHS
students, Amanda Baron, Jeremy Bornstein, Samantha Dunn and Mieko Vail, along with Katie McKillop (who
was absent from event), were recognized for their participation in organizations such as Student Government, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), CAP (Community Awareness Program) and other clubs and
anti-bias programs throughout their high school careers which reflect “bridge building” and their desire
to make the world a better place.

These RHS seniors were part of a contingency of students from nine high schools who were given
certificates of recognition by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in partnership with
the Suffolk County's State Senate Delegation. Suffolk County State Assemblyman Fred. W. Thiele
was one of the speakers and district representatives, who read bios of the high school students and
presented them with their awards.  

The main speaker at the program was Werner Reich. Mr. Reich gave his personal account of surviving the
horrors of the holocaust as a teenager. His message is that "indifference kills". In other words, "All that it
takes for evil to go unchecked in the world is for good people to do nothing."
Mr. Reich has spoken to
high school audiences (including a presentation at Riverhead High School) about his experiences during the holocaust and encourages students to not stand by silently but rather be the first to speak out when they
witness bigotry, prejudice and cruelty. He inspires his young audiences to battle indifference in the world,
and encourages our communities to celebrate the efforts of these young people
who have worked hard to make a difference.
> More about Werner Reich's presentations to High Schools / > More about Werner Reich
Beth Young, writing for the Suffolk Times, quotes Mr. Werner telling a high school audience,
“If you ever find yourself anywhere, in the hallways of this school or anywhere else, where you’re a victim, the victim can do nothing about it,” he said. The three other types of people who were not victims, he said, were the bully and his gang of friends, the bystander, and the just person, who speaks out against oppression.
“Do not wait for others. Be the first to act,” he said, then reminded students of the 1964 Queens murder of Kitty Genovese, in which 38 people said they heard her cries for help but no one came to her aid.

# # # #

Roanoke Participates in Autism Awareness Day

The Third Grade Classes with Principal Thomas Payton on Autism Awareness Day.

(April 2, 2015) The entire student body at the Roanoke Elementary School in Riverhead, NY participated in
“Lighting it up Blue” in honor of Autism Awareness.  Students and staff wore blue and engaged in read alouds aiming to build awareness and respect for students and community members with autism.  Third graders read “Waiting for Benjamin” by Alexandra Jessup Altman.

Comforts for the Homeless Kits

(March 19, 2015) The FIRST SEMESTER STUDENT COUNCIL MEMBERS at the Roanoke Avenue Elementary School finished up their term with a TOOTHBRUSH KIT project. The kits contain toothpaste, a toothbrush, floss and mouthwash in a baggie. Some of the kits had a children's size toothbrush with themes that would appeal to children and others were made for adults. Kelly Brennan, a PTO officer and the Student Council Advisor, explained, "The student council members made flyers, asked their own dentists for products to put into the kits, encouraged schoolmates and community members to donate and brought in items themselves. They gathered enough items to make two HUGE boxes of dental kits. Suffolk Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics was one of the biggest donors. Students invited their dentists to donate as well. Hampton Smile and Bella Smiles Dental Offices gave items in response to these requests." Picture: Marie Buday and James Nelson from the Suffolk County Department of Social Services (adults to the left and right of Roanoke Principal Thomas Payton and Roanoke teacher Jackie Adler, who is the Social Services contact person, are pictured with the first semester Student Council members.

"Pink Day" at Roanoke Avenue Elementary School

(October 30, 2014) October is BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. Several RCSD schools and
teams participated in BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. Students at Riverhead Middle School
and the Roanoke Avenue Elementary School had a PINK DAY. They wore pink and made and distributed
pink ribbons to students and staff members. 

"Help a Hero" Food Drive for Veterans at Pulaski and Roanoke

(Beginning October 1, 2014) Pulaski and Roanoke are conducting a food drive for Veterans in association with AARP and the Veterans Association. Pulaski is calling it the "Help a Hero" Food Drive--they have helped us stay free--it is now our turn to help them. The schools will be accepting nonperishable food items only throughout the month of October. The drive is being hosted by the Veterans of Foreign War and the AARP. There will be boxes in the main lobby of the Pulaski Street School if community members want to donate as well.

RHS Council for Unity Members Clean Up the Beach

Council for Unity members and advisors spent an afternoon cleaning up the beach at Iron Pier.

RMS National Junior Honor Society Paws for Cause

The RMS NAT'L JR HONOR SOCIETY raised $400 for Kent Animal Shelter by selling paw prints.

Roanoke Students Helping Hearts

The Roanoke Avenue STUDENT COUNCIL presented Susan DiMartino, a representative from
the American Heart Association, with a check for $400.
They raised the money by selling SMENCILS on Valentine's Day.

World Language Students at RHS Sell Pulseras


(April 4, 2014 – Riverhead, NY) The World Language students, Clubs and Language Honor Society members hosted a fund-raising effort from Monday, March 31 through April 11 selling "pulseras" at Riverhead High School in the cafeteria during lunch periods. The students sold the "pulseras" (bracelets and small purses) to benefit young artisans in Nicaragua, who work with the Pulsera Project Organization.

The Pulsera Project is a non-profit organization that empowers young Nicaraguan artisans through the sale of their colorful handwoven bracelets ("pulseras" in Spanish) in the United States. Through pulsera sales in schools and other locations around the world, almost 100 artisans are empowered through sustainable fair-trade employment. All the proceeds from pulsera sales are then reinvested in different programs in Nicaragua---including scholarships, micro-loans, support for the "Si A La Vida" kids shelter, environmental programs, workers rights advocacy, and other educational programs.

RHS Spanish teacher Penélope Boerum stated, "The students worked so diligently and well together as a team to raise money for the young Nicaraguan artisans associated with the PULSERA Project!. I am very proud of their efforts."

(April 4, 2014-Riverhead, NY) The Riverhead High School Leaders Club hosted their second BLOOD DRIVE of the year. They would like to extend a "Thank You" to all of the students and staff who volunteered to give blood on Thursday, April 4th. We would like to thank the Leaders Club for organizing this important effort to save lives.


(April 11, 2014 - Phillips Avenue Elementary School) Members of the Key Club who have been teaching lessons on "Going Green" to the district's third and fourth graders, visited the Phillips Avenue Elementary School. The student instructors once again presented a lesson decomposition and recycling. In addition, some of the instructors began with a presentation on the "Water Cycle". The Club members created a Prezi which helped introduce their younger counterparts to the complexities of the water cycle.

Interact Club and NJROTC Cadets Help
with Riverhead Rotary Holiday Baskets


(December 21, 2013) The INTERACT CLUB and the NJROTC cadets assist the Riverhead Rotary annually with the assembly and delivery of over 200 holiday baskets for area residents.

A Few of the Ways Students Reached Out in the 2012-2013 School Year

Pulaski Street Girl Scout Troop Starts Recycling Program at Pulaski


(May 24, 2013) A Jr. Girl Scout Troop 1689 at the Pulaski Street School has joined the district's (paper) recycling
effort in our schools. This troop of girls were also student government members together at the
Roanoke Avenue School. In addition to being concerned about
the environment,
the girls are working for their Bronze Girl Scout Award medal.
(Riverhead Home Depot donated the recycling bins.)

Roanoke Student Council HEARTS the Am. Heart Assoc.



(February 14, 2013) During the month of February, the Roanoke Avenue Elementary School’s Student Council carried out fund-raisers for the American Heart Association. They sold Go Red for Women pins and hosted a
movie night. They were able to raise $559.00, and, ON VALENTINE'S DAY, all the proceeds were presented to
Terri Zenobio, a representative from the American Heart Association.

Community Service During the Holidays

These are just a few of the many ways our students and staff reached out to those in need during the holidays.

"RMS French student Ali Ziegler made over 40 Christmas cards (in French) for a school that was affected
by Hurricane Sandy.  According to Ali's French teacher, Betsy Ruotolo, "The cards were so creative…
really incredible… and we gave them to Jennifer Gartung (a RHS teacher – whose husband works
in a school that Hurricane Sandy demolished.
He is going to distribute them to families affected by the hurricane)." 

"The same student, Ali, had the idea of making a quilt for the SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL",
continues Ms. Ruotolo.  "We want to give the students there something cheerful and inspirational to hang
in their new school. Our class will be starting it after the break……    Amelia Lantz, from our Board of Ed.,
is going to help – her husband is a carpenter and will make the quilt hanger. 
Maybe we could somehow put a shout out on the website…. for anyone who is good with quilting…..  
Ali's grandmother will help us put the quilt together… but we are looking for experienced quilters,
who might be willing to help with it!    We will start it after Christmas".
Call Betsy Ruotolo at the Middle School if you'd like to help (Phone: 631.369.6757)

Middle School students in Nancy King's and Jan Szczesny's Home and Careers classes made
ornaments for and sent holiday greetings to middle school students and their families at
Long Beach Middle School, whose school was damaged by Hurricane Sandy.  
According, to French teacher Betsy Ruotolo, whose students teamed up with the Home and Careers class
and made greeting cards for the students and their families, the Long Beach Middle School students were
out of theirbuilding for over a month after the Hurricane. They went to school in neighboring districts--
sometimes having to sit on the floor of the other school’s classrooms in order to attend class.
"We just want the students and teachers there to know our students are thinking about them," said Ms. King.
Ms. Ruotolo agreed, "We thought it would be a great place to send a little cheer from the East End!"

Roanoke toys
Brian and Daniel and their mom, Marie, made a "special delivery" of toys and other gifts
(from Debbie Spinelli's second graders at the Roanoke Avenue School in Riverhead, NY) to the
children at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. In all, the Roanoke second
graders in Mrs. Spinelli's class collected over 200 items for this annual holiday toy drive.
This year marked their third annual toy drive for kids with cancer.

AP Scholars
The Leaders Club sponsored a BLOOD DRIVE for LI Blood Services. Thank you for giving!
(November 30, 2012) The RHS Leaders Club responded quickly to an urgent need for blood by
organizing a blood drive with only a couple weeks of notice for the LI Blood Services.
The group opened up the opportunity to give blood to the entire school community,
and the response was heart warming.

"There was a line out the door at 7:45AM," noted Leaders Club AdviserSharon DiGiuseppe,
who also teaches English at RHS. "We had 176 people sign up, and so far we've collected
over 75 pints of blood. We want to thank the students and staff for their enthusiastic response and
hope they will give again in the spring."

REDUCE, RECYCLE, REUSE: Each of the schools participates in a recycling program in some form.
Mr. Barona's class at the high school continues to collect components of computers for a
massive recycling and fundraising project.
The RHS Science Club recycles paper and earned funds for its project this year by recycling cell phones.
Other schools collect batteries and other items for proper disposal.

FOOD DRIVES: Each of the schools participate in massive food drives throughout the year,
as well as gift drives during the holidays.

food  Before School Child Care Thanksgiving Project: The students from the Before School   Child Care program assembled 25 food bags for the needy members of the Riley   Community. Mrs. Duzel, Mrs. Kannwischer and Mrs. Tuthill lined the students up in an   assembly line and round and round they went along the outer walls of the cafeteria   picking up anything from fresh squash and potatoes to boxes of corn bread mix and   dropping them in a huge IKEA bag. The 25 assembled bags will provide not only a meal for Thanksgiving, but for the long weekend that follows.

Information about State Standards 

Community Service, Health and Safety Links
Please go to THE SAFETY LINK and THE HEALTH LINK for current information about health and safety
programs and concerns.
See the CHARACTER EDUCATION link for information about the District's programs