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Rachel's Challenge - Promoting Kindness and Compassion

Last Updated on Nov 2, 2015 at 11:49am | Public Information Office

One month after the Columbine tragedy, Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father, was asked to speak before a Congressional Subcommittee on School Violence. Those in attendance expected his talk to revolve around gun control. To everyone's surprise, the message Darrell shared was that guns are only a symptom of the problem. The root issue is really what we are, or more accurately are not, teaching our children. His point was that when we stop teaching character, caring and integrity, right from wrong, we are creating environments within which Columbine-like incidents can occur. The speech instantly became an internet sensation; striking a chord with millions of people. Soon Darrell was getting requests from all over the country to tell Rachel's story; which he quickly discovered was a powerful antidote to bullying and violence in schools.
 
Thus, Rachel's Challenge was born. The intent was to honor Rachel's life and help prevent other families from going through what all of the Columbine families had endured. The focus was telling students how Rachel deliberately reached out to those who were different from her, new to school, picked on by others, or just lonely. After her death many of the kids to whom Rachel reached out approached the Scott family with stories about the profound impact her simple acts of kindness had on their lives.  Rachel’s story is a true, simple, pure story that routinely elicits an intense personal experience, awakens the innate need for connection with others, acts as a catalyst for inexplicable instant change, and creates an overwhelming desire to act and make a difference.
 
Rachel's Challenge exists to inspire, equip, and empower every person to create a permanent positive culture change in their school, business, and community by starting their own chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Rachel's Challenge is Rachel's legacy of kindness and compassion and;
• Create a safe and productive learning environment by delivering proactive antidotes to violence and bullying
• Stimulate real culture change by actively involving the entire “Community" in the process
• Change lives by providing culturally relevant social/emotional training
• Improve achievement and ensure results by engaging the participants' heart, head and hands.
 
Over 15 million people have heard her story in live settings all over the world. Every year:
• Over 1.8 million people are involved in Rachel's Challenge programs
• More than 1,800 schools and businesses are affected
• Over 425 suicides averted with unsolicited student emails sent thanking Rachel's Challenge
• Bullying and violence decrease while community service and acts of kindness increase.
 
As Rachel wrote in an essay shortly before her death, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go." 
 
On Monday, November 9, 2015, Rachel’s Challenge program will be introduced at an assembly for students in both high schools in the morning.  In the afternoon, Friends of Rachel’s (FOR) Clubs will be formed in the high schools.  Parents and community members are invited to attend an hour long Rachel’s Challenge presentation in the evening of November 9th beginning at 6:30 PM.  The community presentations will be held concurrently in the auditoriums of both high schools.  Representatives of Rachel’s Challenge will be on hand to introduce the program.  Light refreshments will be served.
 
Rachel’s Challenge is a non-profit organization and information can be found at www.rachelschallenge.org .