Meet our new school social worker, Meghan Cavanaugh

Meghan Cavanaugh joined JCDSRI’s faculty in September as our school social worker. Meghan has over a decade of experience working with children and families in schools as well as in home-based and office settings.

When asked about her impressions of JCDSRI, Meghan said that our school community is “positive and supportive — teachers reflect to students their strengths and talents, and model how to solve problems effectively and resolve conflicts fairly. Students are encouraged to think independently, create solutions to problems, and grow as learners.” She goes on to say that she is “most excited about helping students and teachers further integrate social-emotional learning into classrooms.”

Meghan is already making an impact focusing on four main areas:

  • Teaching students ways to manage their feelings at school so that they are ready to learn
  • Teaching teachers skills to help students pay attention, cope with their feelings in class and calm their bodies
  • Supporting JCDS families when their children meet challenges at school
  • Creating a team with teachers and staff to ensure the success of all students

Meghan is thrilled to be a part of the JCDSRI community and her presence is already felt. She is helping teachers further develop their developmentally appropriate, social and emotional curriculum and helping students learn mindfulness techniques to help them regulate their wiggly, squiggly selves in the classroom.

Genius Hour… when passions come alive

Fifth grader Ella Sinel won the SEEDlings student design challenge at StyleWeek Northeast this fall! In fact, the idea to open up the event to youngsters came from Ella. According to founder and CEO, Rosanna Ortiz, Ella “was very persistent in getting a hold of me because she wanted me to look at her sketches because she wanted to be a StyleWeek designer,” Ortiz said. “It was funny because this little girl was emailing every email address for me she could find. At first, I thought it was a joke.”

Ella’s passion for fashion designing was encouraged last year by fourth grade teacher, Melynda Silva, during Genius Hour — a year-long project that allows students to identify and pursue a personal passion.

Read more in the Voice and Herald below:



2018-19 TikkunXDesign Fellows

We are pleased to announce this year’s TikkunX Design Fellows, Anzia Anderson and Katya Scocimara!

Every year JCDSRI awards 2 fellowships to current students from the Brown/RISD community. The fellows support our TikkunXDesign Director and contribute to our design thinking curriculum while deepening our relationship with the RISD/Brown STEAM community.

Anzia is a senior at Brown University double concentrating in Urban Studies and Visual Art. Originally from New York, she is particularly interested in the ways art and design can give rise to more equitable urban spaces. She has worked at DownCity Design, a Providence nonprofit that works with young people to improve their neighborhoods through student-led design projects. Recently she spent a summer working at SpiralQ, a West Philadelphia nonprofit and puppet theater that works at the intersection of art, culture and social justice. She enjoys painting, learning how to use new tools, and hanging out with her pet snake, Violet.


Katya Scocimara is a rising Junior studying engineering and design at Brown University. Originally from Menlo Park, California she grew up fascinated by the innovative design in Silicon Valley and is passionate about spreading that love of design to others. Last year she worked with the JCDS leading a STEAM Splash workshop in Biomimicry and built the new loft in the 3rd grade classroom. When she’s not in the workshop or studying, she likes to play volleyball and bake delicious treats for her friends.

New after school programs for middle school students

TikkunXDesign is now available to 5th grade and middle school students in the community as an after school program. 

Our TikkunXDesign after school program kicks off on October 9th. Tiferet Rose, TikkunXDesign Director, and JCDSRI TikkunXDesign Fellows from Brown University will facilitate the weekly lessons in our Design Lab that explore Jewish values through Design Thinking. See flyer for details.


Teva PVD

Alumni often tell us that their 5th grade Teva overnight was a highlight of their JCDSRI experience. We are now bringing the magic of Teva to Providence!

Teva PVD is a 3-part series of outdoor explorations culminating in an overnight Shabbaton. Teva PVD outdoor adventures will be facilitated by Teva and JCDSRI educators. For dates and details, see flyer.