Giving Rye is a new occasional feature highlighting non-profits and community groups in and around the City of Rye. Today meet Ronda Gilroy of the Rye Fund for Education.
Your Name: Ronda Gilroy
Organization: Rye Fund for Education
Your role: President
MyRye.com: Tell us your organization’s mission.
Gilroy: RFE’s mission is to enrich the educational experience of Rye City School District students. We aim to partner with the community to raise funds that sponsor grants to support important and innovative initiatives that are beyond the scope of the RCSD’s annual operating budget.
How long have you operated in Rye?
Gilroy: Rye Fund for Education was originally founded in March of 2013. After a short hiatus during the pandemic, the Fund relaunched in September of 2022. This is our second year.
What programming or work in Rye is the organization best known for?
Gilroy: RFE plays an important and positive role to ensure our school system provides the quality education Rye families have come to expect and students deserve. We are committed to helping all students reach their full potential by providing grants for materials, technology, instruction, and equipment that take learning to the next level. Last year RFE funded approximately $300,000 in grants. RFE focuses on:
Looking forward to 2024, what will be your top initiatives?
Gilroy: As I mentioned RFE relaunched just last year so we are still growing and doing our best to inform the community about our mission and impact in our schools. Out top initiatives for 2024 are:
- Continue to develop awareness and solidify a partnership within the community, focused on supporting our high performing school district.
- Illustrate the positive and significant influence grants have in the school life of our students.
- Raise necessary funding to make our grant program possible.
Tell us about the population you serve and how they can get involved with your programming and services.
Gilroy: All students in the RCSD from grades K through 12
Are you a 501(c)(3) non-profit with tax exempt status?
Looking back across 2023, what were your organization’s top achievements?
- We funded over $300,000 in grants last year.
- 16 classrooms outfitted with new ActivPanels
- Mobile ActivPanels for versatile use
- A beautiful mural created by RHS students under the guidance of artist, Joe Pimental
- Tang math puzzles to advance math instruction
- Trumpet mutes for dynamic sound and music experimentation
- Coding materials for MakerSpace
- Building materials for MakerSpace
- State of the art equipment to enhance our Engineering Pathway
- Our team grew from 7 to 18 members. We are very fortunate to have committed and talented volunteers leading and contributing to this organization.
- Grants applications have more than doubled. Teachers and administrators are now acquainted with and appreciate the opportunity the grant process offers. Last year we funded eight grants in total. Since the beginning of this school year, only two months ago, we have approved eleven grants. It’s exciting!
How can local residents support your organization?
Gilroy: Thank you for asking! Our Annual Appeal is happening now and goes through November 30th. The Rye Fund for Education welcomes gifts by credit card, check, securities or cash. Please consider making a gift or reaching out to us at [email protected]. Participation is key and gifts of any amount are greatly appreciated.
What local Rye residents and area businesses have been the longest, steadiest supporters of your organization?
Gilroy: I am proud to share that last year, our relaunch, we received over 600 donations. I think that clearly displays this community’s appreciation for strong schools!
Tell us about you:
How long have you been in your current role?
Gilroy: One and a half years.
Is the role full time or part time? Paid or volunteer?
Gilroy: My role is a volunteer position and the time commitment changes throughout the year depending on what’s going on. For instance, this month our annual campaign is going on so it’s much busier and requires more time.
How would your friends and family describe you in one word?
|Coke or Pepsi?
|Regular or diet?
|Action movie or rom com?
|Cook, order in or eat out?
|Dog, cat or no pet?
|Balsamic vinaigrette or ranch?
|Ruffles Original, Lay’s Barbeque or Funyuns?
|Still, sparkling or tap?
What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
Gilroy: A close friend from college was celebrating a milestone. I hadn’t planned to attend because our children’s activity schedule was too hectic that weekend. I randomly mentioned the situation on the phone to my sister and within 24 hours two of my sisters who live out of state rearranged their schedules and came to NY to take care of the children for the weekend. I truly appreciate even the smallest acts of kindness. It’s important.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why, and who would you take with you?
Gilroy: I’d love to travel to Bali with my family. I hear the surf is great and I love the beach. I once took a surfing lesson and thought it was a lot fun and would love to learn.
What is your favorite streaming / TV series?
What is your favorite movie?
Gilroy: So many favorites, that’s hard. Watching Home Alone for the millionth time with one of my sons never gets old.
Where do you live in Rye and how many years have you lived in the City?
Gilroy: We currently reside on Dogwood Lane and have lived in Rye for nine years.