Rachel Joy Scott was the first student killed on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School, but her legacy of kindness lives on. Several hundred community members and students came to the auditorium at Lord Botetourt High School to learn more about Rachel’s Challenge. The endeavor is to promote the keen understanding the young woman had of how people should treat each other. The precepts were discovered in her journals after her tragic death and were included in an essay she wrote for class six weeks prior to her death.
With administration support from Central Office staff like Jonie Poff and Dreama McMillan and middle school principals Tim McClung and Mike Teatrault, the Rachel’s Challenge effort has been bolstered across the school division. For several days this week middle school students at Central Academy and Read Mountain have been learning about the challenge. At Lord Botetourt School on Thursday night, JB Braden a trainer for Rachel’s Challenge brought home the project to the community. Many students at both middle schools have joined FOR –Friends of Rachel groups at the two schools. Banners with signatures of hundreds of students accepting Rachel’s Challenge exist at both schools.
Here are the five parts to Rachel’s Challenge:
Eliminate prejudice, Dare to dream, Choose positive influences, Kind words and little acts of kindness produce huge results, Start a chain reaction of kindness.
Begun by her father and family, Rachel’s Challenge has aptly reached the millions she eerily predicted with a drawing of her hands on the back of her dresser. “These hands will one day touch millions of hearts,” she had written.