Dr. Versie Hamlett, director of Humboldt City Schools, and Dr. Lindsey Bradford, assistant principal at Humboldt Jr./Sr. High School, are working with Rachel’s Challenge to stimulate academic achievement and social-emotional learning by focusing on the connection between students, faculty and staff. Using the remarkable story of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, Rachel’s Challenge awakens individual hope, desire and purpose; which in turn promotes safer, more connected school communities.
Rachel’s Challenge staff member, Chris Mowery, shared Rachel’s story with students of HJSHS last Saturday at the Junior High Auditorium. The first presentation began at 9 a.m. for junior high students, followed by an 11 a.m. program for high school students. School staff were on hand as well.
Dr. Robert Marzano, respected education researcher and author states, “Rachel’s Challenge is the most powerful intervention I have seen in 40 years of working in education.” Rachel’s story unlocks the desire for change. Then, its programs come alongside the existing efforts of the school to sustain a culture where harassment, bullying and violence are reduced; and where teachers are free to teach and students are awakened to learn.
An independent study conducted by Multi-Dimensional Education, LLC, a nationally recognized educational program evaluator, found that, “Schools implementing Rachel’s Challenge with fidelity achieved statistically significant gains in community engagement, faculty/student relationships, leadership potential, and school climate; along with a reduction in bullying behavior.”
Using age-appropriate programming for K-12, Rachel’s Challenge schools have reported up to 84-percent reductions in disciplinary referrals. Over 150 suicides are averted annually, as reported by students themselves. In a pre- and post-attitudinal survey of 9,881 students from across the US, respondents report a 282-percent increase in the number of students feeling safe at school after participating in Rachel Challenge.
In the pursuit of its mission to awaken individual transformation and promote safer, more connected schools, Rachel’s Challenge has reached over 24 million students, educators and community members in live settings. Rachel’s Challenge continues to work hard to turn the ideals of kindness and compassion into actionable strategies that help promote safe and productive learning environments
Rachel’s Challenge exists to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion. Through her example, Rachel’s Challenge is making a positive impact in the lives of millions of people every year.
Directors of schools, principals, teachers, parents, and students bring Rachel’s Challenge into their schools because of escalating problems such as: bullying, student isolation, teen suicide, discrimination, school violence, and increased disciplinary actions. Through powerful presentations, trainings, community events, and professional development, Rachel’s Challenge provides the sustainable solution.
Rachel’s inspiring story provides a simple, yet powerful example of how small acts of kindness and acceptance motivate us to consider our relationships with the people we come in contact with every day. Rachel’s Challenge renews our hope that our life has meaning and purpose. Rachel’s story gives us permission to start our own chain reaction of kindness and compassion, which positively affects the climate in our schools and communities.
A few weeks after the tragedy, Darrell Scott, Rachel’s father, spoke to a Congressional House Judiciary Committee regarding issues of school violence. His speech has become one of the most widely read documents on the internet. Shortly afterward, he founded “Rachel’s Challenge”, a bullying and violence abatement program. More than two million students annually experience Rachel’s Challenge and have the opportunity to accept the challenges, modeled after Rachel’s life and writings.
Students in the United States and several other countries have heard the universal message of kindness and compassion through Rachel’s story. Since inception, over 25 million people have heard Rachel’s story in live settings around the world, at least eight school shootings have been prevented, and over 500 suicides have been averted.