May 8, 2012 – Stillwater students in grades 5-8 were recently challenged to celebrate acts of kindness through the national program, Rachel’s Challenge, by none other than Rachel Scott’s uncle, Larry Scott.
Rachel Scott was the first victim in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999. Rachel’s Challenge is an anti-bullying school program that takes powerful video and audio footage of Rachel's life and the Columbine tragedy to help motivate students to positively change the way they treat others.
Six weeks before Rachel was killed she wrote an essay titled, “My Ethics, My Codes of Life,” which outlined one of her theories, “that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same.”
The assembly was an introduction to Rachel’s Challenge and an opportunity for Principal Patricia Morris to introduce the Stillwater Middle School Friends of Rachel Club to incoming fifth-graders and fellow middle school students. The club is a community service action group, inspired by Rachel’s Challenge, who has raised and donated nearly $10,000 to local families in need, food pantries, and other national organizations, since its inception in September 2009.
“The Friends of Rachel Club here at the middle school is doing a world of good,” said Morris. “But, we’re not done. We’re reinforcing what Rachel’s Challenge is all about.”
Throughout the presentation, Larry Scott outlined five challenges for Stillwater students: look for the best in others; dream big; choose positive influences; speak with kindness; and, start your own chain reaction. At the end of the assembly, students who decided to accept the challenges signed their names to a Rachel’s Challenge banner hanging in the middle school cafeteria.