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We at the Episcopal Day School believe that Student Leadership and Service is a crucial part of the educational experience for children.  We are now laying the groundwork to put forth a program that will give our students more opportunities to be leaders and to participate in programs that will positively impact our campus, community and planet.  


Leadership and Service


The Episcopal Day School is also committed to student leadership and service.  Our students have made and will continue to make a significant impact in our community through the Nine Months of Smiles Project.  These student service and leadership opportunities partnered with our daily chapel help to strengthen the spirit as well as the mind and body.

The Episcopal Day School strongly believes in the role that leadership and service plays in the development of the whole child.  Leadership and service is also a large part of who we are as an Episcopal School.  It is in that spirit that our school community participates in Special Purpose Fridays weekly throughout the school year.

Special Purpose Fridays (SPF) are opportunities where each K5 through 6th grade student selects a service team to join, for example gardening, recycling, or school spirit, and then they get to work with other students on that team each Friday afternoon from 1:54-2:35.  Projects will change at the end of each quarter.


Nine Months of Smiles 2021-22

Episcopal Day School

September                  Animal Rescue                                    ­­2nd Grade                    Compassion

Collect items that would help the local Humane Society in its efforts to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused, neglected, or abandoned animals.

October                       One Warm Coat                                 2K and 3K                    Respect

Collect coats, sweaters and sweatshirts for distribution to students at Skinner Elementary.

November                   Food Drive                                          3rd Grade                     Justice

Collect food donations to donate to The Ozanam Center to help them feed the hungry and homeless in our community.

December                   Toy Drive                                Student Leadership Team       Charity

Collect toys and assist Good Neighbor Settlement House in providing a Christmas for children in need.

January                        Plastic Oceans                                    5th Grade                    Stewardship

Partner with Plastic Oceans to help reduce plastic in our oceans and raise awareness in part by hosting a screening for the film A Plastic Ocean.

February                      Things for Babies                                4K and 5K                    Courage

Facilitate donations of baby items (food, diapers, etc..) to help Tip of Texas Family outreach assist moms who need a helping hand.

March                         Book Drive                                          4th Grade                     Prudence

Collect books in support of the The Inclusion Caboose to help them provide inclusive programs for children with special needs.

April                            To Be Determined                              6th Grade                     Patience

Sixth graders will choose a project based on consensus of their grade.

May                             Project Night Night                            1st Grade                     Generosity

Gather donations of baby blankets, stuffed animals and children’s books to benefit Cameron County Children’s Advocacy Centers.            


The Episcopal Day School Leadership and Service Program at the Episcopal Day School is named in honor of longtime community leader Fred Rusteberg.

Mr. Rusteberg was born in Brownsville in 1946.  He served his country during the Vietnam War Era, stationed in South Korea. Mr. Rusteberg was the founding President and CEO of IBC Bank in Brownsville, growing the bank from its inception into a billion-dollar total assets community bank with fifteen locations in Cameron County.  He had a strong belief in education and serving his community.  He was recognized as an Outstanding Citizen by the State of Texas, given the Boy Scouts of America Leadership Award, inducted into the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame and he served on numerous boards including Gladys Porter Zoo and Valley Baptist Hospital.  Over the years, he continually chaired numerous charity boards, bond issues, and planning, development and advisory boards.  He is widely recognized as the mentor to generations of those who give service and provide leadership in our community.

We at the Episcopal Day School believe that Student Leadership and Service is a crucial part of the educational experience for children.  The Fred Rusteberg Leadership and Service Program provides our students more opportunities to be leaders and to participate in programs that will positively impact our campus, community and planet.

The programs will manifest themselves in two ways:

  1. Student Ambassador Program- This program is responsible for fostering school spirit, encouraging student involvement in school activities, and serve as liaisons between the school and the local and the more global communities.  It will be led by students in grades 4-6 who chose to join a particular Ambassador group in which they may be interested.
  2. Nine Months of Smiles- This year long projects enable each grade level to champion a month long community service project.  Every child in our school will have the opportunity to make a real difference by working towards a common goal to help others.