New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence


Since its inception, the Fund has continued to develop and expand its program offerings. The Fund is committed to and proud of a number of very successful programs. Below is a brief description of the programs and projects presently provided by the Fund. (Programs are listed in alphabetical order.)

The New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence is a private, independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization established to support projects that the school budget cannot fund. The Fund is committed to providing exciting, enriching programs that encourage all of our students to excel in education. Programs supported by the Fund serve every school in the district and reach every student in his/her educational journey from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Fund is working to enhance programming, outreach and development. If you would like to get involved, please contact the Fund's Executive Director, Susan Weisman, at

Agenda Books

The Fund provides free Agenda Books to all members of the freshmen class (approximately 800 students) and the entire alternative high school. Our goal is to ease the transition to the high school by giving freshmen a familiar and useful organizational tool. 

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Benefit Concerts

benefit concertThe Fund has sponsored four major benefit concerts—the first in 1999 at Carnegie Hall, the second in 2003 at Avery Fisher Hall of Lincoln Center, the third at Carnegie Hall in 2007, and the most recent at Lincoln Center in May 2011. These concerts featured vocal and instrumental performances by our own talented students. The concerts have provided a memorable and unique experience for all of the participants. Scheduling the concert once every four years enables each student who attends the high school at least one opportunity to participate.

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Chess in Our Schools

Because the game of chess offers young children an opportunity to develop critical thinking,problem-solving and socialization skills—while having fun—the Fund is a proud partner in the elementary schools’ popular chess instruction program. Our annual grant helps pay for expert instructors from both the National Scholastic Chess Foundation and our own faculty to teach chess in the classroom and as an extracurricular activity. The Fund also provides financial support for chess instruction in the secondary schools through their Chess Clubs.

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Civics Week

Since 1998, the Fund has celebrated Civics Week in partnership with the school district and the New Rochelle city government to help students focus on issues of citizenship and governance. Civics Week includes a symposium at the high school, featuring AP Government and AP Macroeconomics students and a panel of distinguished guests, as well as mini-grants awarded to each middle and elementary school. These annual grants fund citizenship education programs, which are designed and implemented by each of the schools.

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Foundation Awards Gala

Each year the Fund honors an individual or individuals who have made major contributions to education in New Rochelle at our fundraising gala. The Fund also honors four outstanding members of the senior class for their achievements in Arts and Culture, Citizenship, Sports Leadership and Technology.  This year's gala will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fountainhead in New Rochelle.

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Museum of Arts and Culture

The Museum of Arts and Culture, which opened in the fall of 2006, is the realization of a long-standing goal of the Fund. Working closely with the school administration, faculty and the Board of Education, the Fund seeks not only to provide a museum experience for New Rochelle students in their own school district, but also to provide an important cultural asset for the community as a whole.

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Music Improvisation

Dr. Bert Konowitz, a noted music educator, brings his highly acclaimed music improvisation program to middle school music classes.  The program is designed to heighten students' self-worth and creative awareness through music.




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Pancake Breakfast with the Board of Education

The ever-popular Pancake Breakfast is held each year prior to the New Rochelle Thanksgiving parade. School principals, administrators and Board of Education members cook pancakes for students, parents and community members. This event is one of the Fund's primary public relations outreach efforts.  This year's Pancake Breakfast is Saturday, November 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.  The cost is $5.00.

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Poetry Out Loud

Each May, the Fund’s Jeremy Scheinfeld Publishing Center presents Poetry Out Loud, a festiveevening of children's poetry, featuring young poets in grades three through six. The event has become a community celebration with student poets reading their original poems to an audience of family members, friends, teachers, school administrators, and public officials in the NRHS auditorium. The Fund publishes a bound volume of the poems for distribution to all of the participants and their schools. Poetry Out Loud will be held on Monday, May 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Whitney Young Auditorium at New Rochelle High School.

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Rubie Saunders Fall Literary Festival

Each fall, the Fund sponsors a literary festival at NRHS celebrating the life and works of noted authors and poets such as Edgar Allen Poe, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Steinbeck, Edith Wharton, Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks and Frederick Douglass. The Festival is named in memory of a founding board member. This all-day festival is highlighted by an English Honors seminar featuring distinguished scholars from various universities who share their expertise on the author with students and faculty. This year's festival will take place on Friday, October 19th at NRHS.

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SAT Preparation Course at NRHS

In partnership with the nationally renowned Kaplan Test Prep, the Fund offers the complete Kaplan SAT Preparation Program at a reduced cost to all interested NRHS juniors. Due to the high cost of SAT preparation courses and/or private tutoring, many students in our financially diverse community are at a disadvantage when preparing to take the SATs. With this program, all juniors are eligible to take the 10-week Kaplan course at a significantly reduced cost, while those students with financial need receive full or partial scholarships from the Fund.  Registration forms are available at the Fund office.

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Science Speakers Bureau

In partnership with the NRHS Science Department, the Fund sponsors the Science Speakers Bureau, which brings prominent scientists to New Rochelle to present lectures in their areas of expertise. The kick-off lecture, in the fall of 2005, featured renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee. 

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New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence  ·  265 Clove Road, New Rochelle, NY 10801  ·  Phone (914) 576-4657