Sixth-grade students at have accepted a big challenge: Rachel’s Challenge.
Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Her acts of kindness and compassion, coupled with the contents of her six diaries, have become the foundation for one of the most life-changing school programs in America.
Rachel’s Challenge is a program that inspires, instructs and enables students to bring positive change to their school atmosphere. Powerful video/audio footage of Rachel’s life and the Columbine tragedy holds students spellbound during a one-hour school presentation that motivates them to positive change in the way they treat others.
While the program has impacted entertainers, politicians, sports celebrities, educators and even two U.S. Presidents, students are the target audience and have responded with positive words, attitudes, and actions.
The message delivered through Rachel’s Challenge is simple: students have the power to make permanent, positive, and cultural changes in their schools and communities by embracing Rachel Scott’s way of kindness and compassion. The challenge also teaches students that by choosing positive influences, in the same manner as Martin Luther King, Jr. or Anne Frank, they can learn to become leaders and positive role models for others.
During their lunch periods, the sixth graders signed the Rachel’s Challenge banner. Follow-up activities were conducted in classrooms to continue the chain reaction of acceptance throughout the grade level and to ensure that the program’s message will reach far beyond one school day and leave students with a lasting impression.
Some of these activities included discussions on topics such as “What part of the assembly impacted you the most?” and “What can you do to continue Rachel’s chain reaction?”
The students also completed a ditto, “How will you touch the world?” and then created five goals that would enable them to start their own chain reaction.