RYE, N.Y. -- The Town of Rye recently launched a new initiative for its social research program Tools For Change.
Tools For Change recently began taking fundraising efforts to the crowd-funding site incited.org and is seeking to raise $12,000 to keep the program afloat. Tools For Change was developed in response to a question from Rye Town Supervisor Joseph Carvin: "how can we encourage the development of young people who possess both analytical skills and diversity capital, the ability to work creatively with people from different backgrounds?" The project came about in 2009 from William Tobin of Duke University.
Since its inception, dozens of high school students from the public high schools of the Town of Rye; Port Chester, Blind Brook and Rye Neck have participated in Tools, representatives said.
"In collaboration with the Rye Town government and a range of community groups, Tools for Change has forged inclusive groups of community problem solvers by identifying civic challenges and then teaching young people to use college level research methods to develop solutions," town representatives said. "Over the years Tools students have made data based recommendations for increasing voter turnout and using social media to help community organizations do their work. A by-product of the Tools course and the broader public/private venture that had made it possible is the Town of Rye’s innovative summer internship program created in part to give Tools students and their peers the opportunity to implement some of these recommendations in their community."
Despite its successes, representatives said the future of the program is in doubt.
"Because the Town of Rye, which has been the primary supporter of the program, is facing financial challenges of its own, it will be impossible for the town to contribute to the seminar as it has in the past," representatives said. "Thus, the decision was made to use a crowd funding source to raise financial support within the community to continue and, hopefully, expand the program to meet demand."