Riverside School

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Riverside School: Child Protagonists: Kids Design City Parks

Ahmedabad, India
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Riverside School creates nurturing learning environments where children explore, innovate, and learn to be changemakers. By building strong relationships with the community, they become active citizens, instilled with social responsibility, interest in civic life, and understanding of activism.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if schools fostered an environment that encourages students to become active citizens?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Urban Indian children lack a nurturing environment: in families, parental aspirations and socioeconomic ambitions dictate children’s lives; in schools, underfunding and outdated curricula drive rote learning and competition; and in cities, children are forgotten as stakeholders in urban design. Without developing passions, creativity, and independence, India’s children are unable to take initiative as active participants in social change.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

An innovative educational environment, Riverside School creates a nurturing space for children to grow, develop, and explore within a safe community. By supporting curiosity and passion, Riverside fosters children’s skills, potential, and responsibilities as citizens. Riverside thus flips the failing urban India paradigm: Parents fully engage with their children’s education; schools invest in spatial, kinesthetic, musical, naturalist, and interpersonal intelligence; cities acknowledge children as visible and active community members. In particular, Riverside’s A Protagonist in Every Child (aProCh) campaign teaches children how to be protagonists in their environment, exercise full citizenship, and socially interact in their community.
Impact: How does it Work

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Riverside’s nurturing educational environment has had so much success, recent years have seen its model multiply. The original Riverside School has become a franchise, expanding to nearby cities and becoming the model for municipal schools in its hometown, Ahmedabad. Beyond state growth, Riverside will soon be implemented in India’s Army Schools and neighboring Bhutan. Such regional popularity is mirrored in international fora, where Riverside programs won the 2012 Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Awards. The organization continues to grow its impact, developing affiliated organizations, Design for Change and aProCh, and partnering with the National Institute of Design and the Stanford Design School to develop design curriculum for youth.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Many organizations strive to create nurturing learning environments, but few employ Riverside School’s comprehensive model. Beyond curriculum expansion and even parental involvement, Riverside facilitates student engagement in their cities and communities, as active participants in the design process. Particularly through aProCh, Riverside supports children’s involvement in civic life, engaging students in campaigns, instilling social responsibility, and developing a cultural ethos of youth citizenship participation.