Hayground was founded in 1996 by a diverse group of parents, educators, and community members in the South Fork community seeking to bring families of diverse backgrounds together. Serving youth between the ages of 3-13, Hayground’s educational philosophy maintains that children learn best through meaningful inquiry, hands-on experiences, and as active participants in their own learning.
As a private school with a public mission, Hayground is steadfastly committed to eliminating socioeconomic barriers to children’s education and experiences. They provide tuition assistance to more than 85% of their school families, increased access to camp programs, and community programming that enables them to broaden the reach and deepen their impact. Additionally, Hayground employs approximately 150 youth each summer, making them one of the largest youth employers in the Hamptons. However, as a 501(c)3 charitable organization without an endowment, the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic has put all that they do at risk.
Hayground has created special programs to support their families and community during this crisis. Joining forces with Foster Farms, the school opened a weekly mini-food pantry where families can pick up bags stocked with fresh produce, sour dough starter, soups and chicken.
Hayground is also offering assistance and resources to their neighbors with several outreach endeavors to ensure the modest and major needs from canned goods to computers are met. Further, they are communicating these East End efforts to their school and camp families, who are mobilizing to do and give what they can to serve the underserved and protect the most vulnerable among us during this exceedingly difficult time. As always, but especially now, taking care of all the children, school, and community remains Hayground’s highest priority.