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'Rivertown Parents' to Bring Local PTSAs Together

DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. – Rivertown Parents is an initiative that Deborah Hargraves said has been in development since last September and will bring shared services to another level for local school districts.

“What we did back in September is we looked at what we wanted to accomplish as far as education and programming ideas and we thought it would be more effective and we could get bigger names and maybe bigger ideas if we collaborated with some of the other PTSA’s in the Rivertowns,” said Hargraves, who is the co-director of the organization.

The new organization as it is currently formed will be comprised of Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Hastings parent teacher student associations. 

Tarrytown EPTA President David Neilsen said working together as one is the greatest advantage of the shared effort.

“It’s a way of pooling our resources to introduce a larger parent education program to the people that we represent,” Neilsen said. “We believe that there are a lot of issues that a lot of parents in the community would love to be more informed on.”

Rivertown Parents will also be offering various lectures and workshops for parents and Hargraves said local residents can expect to see the first speaker by late September or early October.

“We collectively looked at PTSAs and talked about what had been well attended in the past, what had been asked by parents to be brought into the area,” Hargraves said. “We collaboratively talked about what the parents would like to see and what should be addressed and we came up with a list of 25 different topics.”

Partnering with Mercy College will be one of the largest advantages of the organization as districts such as Dobbs Ferry already have created a working relationship with the school. 

“There’s so many resources at Mercy College, one obviously the faculty members,” Hargraves said. “So if we have workshops on some topics that they have expertise in it would be great to have some of those lectures offered at Mercy College because they’re physically located in such an ideal venue, but they also have faculty who can help us out.”

Neilsen said the organization will hold events covering a variety of topics and will relate to parents of children of all ages.

“There are a lot of high pressure things going on in education that people, if you’re not paying attention you might not be fully aware of,” Neilsen said.

The new organization is still in the developmental process and Hargraves said she’s looking forward to the opportunities that it will present.

“At this stage we’ve had a dozen meetings and we’ve met with Mercy College many times so we’re excited,” Hargraves said.

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