Riley's Way Program

Riley’s Way Program is a participatory program for elementary schools to encourage and recognize students who are kind and empathetic – as evidenced by clear, direct examples of those children helping others – so that being the truest of friends is celebrated in the same way that children often get commended for being a good athlete or top student.

Through the program, RWF provides a $60,000 grant, to be spent over a three year partnership, to participating elementary school in New York City to allow them to focus on social and emotional learning in both their teachers and students. By providing professional development and training for the teachers as well as a light curriculum, lesson plans, and activities for the students, we hope to encourage schools to recognize when their students are being kind and empathetic so that those behaviors are celebrated in the same way that children often get commended for being a good athlete or a top student.

Our goal is to generate a virtuous cycle of kindness in schools, with the hope that it leads to a positive, measurable, long-term impact in individual students' lives as well as in their schools and communities. This broad-reaching impact will include raising awareness about the importance of kindness and empathy, as well as encouraging and helping to change students' behavior so that they are more kind and empathetic to each other. We believe that by partnering with schools in diverse socioeconomic areas and providing them with funding, we can have a meaningful impact on the lives of the children as well as their communities.




  • The Nightingale-Bamford School (Upper East Side, Manhattan)

  • P.S. 81Q (Ridgewood, Queens)


  • The Nightingale-Bamford School

  • P.S. 81Q

  • The Sisulu-Walker Charter School of Harlem (Harlem, Manhattan)

  • P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep (Chelsea, Manhattan)

While we are beginning with a limited number of partner schools in NYC, we believe that the program can easily scale rapidly as we will support much of the content centrally, sharing resources and collecting stories on our website and over social media. We hope that our program will plant seeds of kindness within our partner communities that grow over time to make a meaningful change in the lives of many.