Climb Higher Logo

Climb Higher will empower CRS to tackle the physical, by transforming our playground into a central campus treasure, and the philosophical, by building our financial aid resources to ensure that a CRS education is possible for a socioeconomically diverse group of students. Not only does this vital $1.4 million initiative directly support the mission of Charles River School, but it will also directly benefit every CRS student.

Renovated Playground

When excellence is the goal of progressive education, amazing things happen. Students gain a broader awareness that lets them form intelligent, compassionate worldviews and an understanding that empowers them to define and embrace their greatest potential. Recess and outdoor play activities contribute to children’s social learning and development. And, as it is so boldly and proudly stated in our mission: CRS honors the joy of childhood.


Outdoor play is essential to children’s health.

Playing outside gives children an appreciation of nature, increased executive function, socialization, exercise, Vitamin D, and the chance to take risks.


Creativity takes courage.

With improved playground equipment, which will be a campus investment that will last for decades, children can play games, test their physical limits, express themselves, and build their self-confidence.


Balance makes brilliance.

Intellectual, social, and emotional growth are nurtured together at CRS. That balance builds thoughtful, enthusiastic learners who have a keen understanding of the world and themselves and it helps them to excel in their pursuits.


Confidence comes from compassion.

Outdoor play aids the cultivation of compassion and caring coupled with strength and resourcefulness.


CRS will forever celebrate the joy of childhood.

We value our students having inspiring experiences inside and outside the classroom.

boy on playground equipment

Our Process

  • Designing the new playspace will be a process and, of course, the funding available will determine how creative we can get. We know that we need spaces that will be suitable for each stage of our students’ development.
  • Importantly, we want to design this space with CRS teachers and students. We will begin the design phase in the academic year 2022-2023, hoping to transform the space during the summer of 2023.
  • Check back for updates and ways you can help with the design! This is an opportunity for every member of our community to get involved.

Financial Aid

CRS is committed to making its education affordable to a wide economic range of families. Enrolling a talented and diverse student body – bright children with a variety of experiences and backgrounds – is not only fundamental to our mission, but it benefits our entire community. We make financial aid awards to help families with demonstrated need access a CRS education.


Endowment for financial aid is critical as a sustainable and predictable source of support.

As of June 2022, CRS’s endowment was $8.4 million. Of that, $2.8 million has been earmarked for financial aid. That endowment generates $140,000 annually – only 11% of the $1.25 million that CRS provided in financial aid last year.


Supporting graduates who shape the future of our diverse world.

Our integrated approach to learning encourages students of different perspectives to learn from and help each other. By growing the endowment, CRS strengthens its ability to support this model and to live our mission to the fullest.


The impact of growing the endowment for financial aid benefits the full community.

Through our teaching practices and the authentic learning experiences, we provide for our students each day. CRS embraces and works toward equity and inclusion – including socioeconomic diversity.

aerial view of art project

Our Process

  • In 2020, CRS had less than $50,000 in endowment per student – lower than all but one of our regional peers.
  • Still, CRS provides above-average financial aid compared to peers.
  • We need to grow our endowment so more of our financial aid awards are backed by dedicated endowment funding.

Thank You for Celebrating With Us

More than 150 community members joined us for the launch party on October 14. It was quite the celebration! Click here for Photos from the Event

We Want to Hear from You

There will be many opportunities for everyone to get involved. Climb Higher is a full community effort! Contact us with questions

Campaign Committee


Molly and Ned Carney P’29 ’31
Lindsey and James McElligott P’25 ’27 ’30

Development Office

Emily Walberg, Director of Development
Amy Walsh P’28 ’31, Assistant Director of Development


Leslie Jackson Judge ’91 P’24 ’26, President of the Board of Trustees
Gretchen Larkin, Head of School
Carol Lisbon P’95 ’98, GP ’26 ’28
Kate Paglia P’27 ’30
Dan Stokes  P’23 ’25 ’28
Heather Willis P’23 ’30
Guoping Zhou P’22 ’25