Funds & Giving Opportunities

Annual Fund

Gifts to the Annual Fund directs your support to the area where it is needed most, including to provide educational experiences and travel for our students that is not supported by New York State funding, such as out of state conferences, tournaments, and educational trips; classes for our families to learn ASL and Deaf culture; enhance our beautiful campus; and other urgent needs. These unrestricted gifts allow RSD the flexibility to best support our community and campus.

ECC Natural Playground Fund

In 2017, the RSD Early Childhood Center welcomed a beautiful natural playground on campus that is used as an outdoor classroom. This creative space sparks curiosity and imagination for our youngest students, age 18 months to five years. Positive experiences with nature bring significant benefits to children, including language opportunities, developing gross motor skills, engaging in creative play, and learning how to manipulate their environment in cooperation with others. We have continued to raise funds to enhance the space with new riding pathways, gardens, and safety fencing, and to maintain/replace the natural elements such as logs and wooden climbing/playing structures.  Ongoing support of the playground is most welcome and needed.

Travel Abroad Program (TAP) Fund

RSD has a proud tradition of providing our high school students with the opportunity to travel abroad. These trips put into practice the classroom skills they have been taught and also offer valuable lessons about the world around them and life skills that cannot be taught in a classroom setting. Students have direct access to the educational experience in sign language, with cultural immersion, Deaf tour guides and Deaf locals and interactive programs that give them a deeper appreciation of the area. This fund helps to offset the cost of travel and allows for greater access and participation of our students.

The Gilman Perkins Fund

Gilman Perkins (1926–2015) was a longtime member of the RSD Board of Directors and Advisory Council and a great-grandson of RSD’s founders, Gilman and Caroline Perkins. In order to continue Gil’s legacy of caring at RSD, his children established The Gilman Perkins Fund for RSD Student Needs in 2016. The purpose of this Fund is to help Deaf or hard-of-hearing RSD students overcome financial obstacles that may impede them from achieving academic, social, or career success, including opportunities for educational and extracurricular enrichment, equity, and access.  More information on the fund is available here.

The Wayne C. Mnich Leadership Scholarship Fund

This fund honors Wayne C. Mnich (1938-2019), a long-term high school science teacher at RSD. His positive spirit, spontaneous humor, and genuine love of teaching and learning led his students to a higher level of success and achievement. In his memory, his family along with RSD established the Wayne C. Mnich Leadership Scholarship Fund. This fund supports 10th- and 11th-grade students from RSD attending the National Association of the Deaf Youth Leadership Camp (YLC).  More information on the fund is available here.