Rachel's Challenge returns to Elmira School
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) - For the third year in a row, the Elmira City School District has introduced "Rachel's Challenge" to 7th grade students at Broadway Academy. The program is aimed towards inspiring students to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity, with acts of respect, kindness and compassion.
The Friends of Rachel Club, known as the FOR Club is beginning the new school year with a message they're hoping to get across to their peers, as well as the community as a whole. That message is through Rachel's Challenge, which is based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott. She was the first student who was killed in the Columbine High School shooting back in 1999.
"They learn about her stories. But they also learn about the kindness that she spread and how one person can make a difference, and how to continue that message. So the kids have been challenged to take that message and make it their own," says Kim Stanton, the FOR Club Advisor in the Elmira City School District.
A one-hour student presentation about Rachel's Challenge kicked off on Tuesday, following a special presentation at night for parents and community members. The special presentation is aimed towards providing parents and the community an opportunity to experience the challenges students face at school. For one father, he says his daughter is a member of the FOR Club and is glad to see her and other students trying to spread that message of kindness.
"I want my children to grow up to be people who inspire to help others and do acts of kindness. Instead of talking about being good, they're actually being good people," says Troy Council, father of student who is member of FOR Club.
More than 23 million people around the world have heard Rachel's story. Officials say it has prevented at least eight school shootings and over 500 suicides have been averted.