That was District Judge Sheri Carver who was responsible for heading up the effort to bring that program to the county:
The Judge said all too often, bullying simply goes unreported:
Carver also stressed that the Cherokee County Board of Education has been instrumental in bringing similar programs to our area:
Lou Honaker made that point that bullying has also changed in many ways:
Keeping an open dialogue with your children can help tremendously, when it comes to the issue of how they’re interacting with others; be aware of changes in your child’s behavior – and ask questions if you feel there’s a problem.
Rachel’s Challenge is a national non-profit organization that is dedicated to creating safe, connected school environments where learning and teaching is maximized. Based on the life and writing of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine tragedy in 1999, Rachel’s Challenge provides a continual improvement process for schools designed to awaken the learner in every child. We motivate and equip students to start and sustain a chain reaction of kindness and compassion that transforms schools and communities.
People often wonder what Rachel was really like, so I’ll fill you in. Even though her legacy has changed millions of people’s lives, I can tell you she was a normal teenager who loved life and experienced the same struggles as every other teenager. She made mistakes like everybody else, but somehow, most of the time, found a way to see through her frustrations to see a bigger purpose.
Rachel was born in Denver, CO on a beautiful (and hot) August day. When she was a little girl, you could find tons of ponies, Barbie dolls and dress up clothes that she loved to play with in her room. Being the middle of five kids was not always easy, but she handled it pretty well.
Even from a young age, Rachel seemed to always be socializing with people around her. She wouldn’t pass up a sleepover at a friend’s house, a school dance or a chance to play board games with all of us at home. She loved being around people and was energized by it. She could light up a room with her presence. Rachel always felt sympathy for people less fortunate than herself and always tried to reach out to people with social, mental, or physical handicaps. Rachel learned the power of simple compliments and acts of kindness at an early age.
You could always hear music playing in her room, and sometimes you could hear her singing along. Singing was not one of Rachel’s strong points and her family often teased her about it. She had such a great sense of humor and didn’t seem to mind. She did, however, like to play the piano, and often composed her own simple melodies.
Rachel had a passion for photography. She loved being both behind and in front of the camera. She had a natural flare for acting and loved her acting class. Rachel wasn’t involved in any kind of athletics at school; instead, she focused on the arts, drama and journaling.
Rachel was part of a youth group that helped develop good leadership skills. She was always involved with volunteer opportunities for charitable organizations. She kept her schedule full and enjoyed being active and immersed with as many things as possible. However, like most typical teenagers, she was lazy when it came to doing chores at home.
Rachel had an amazingly unique sense of style. One day she would dress in a cute skirt, heels, and a top and the next day baggy pants with big pockets, flannels and a backwards hat. No matter what she wore she always looked good. The only thing Rachel was self-conscious about was her profile. When she was 5 years old, she tripped on the sidewalk and broke her nose. It left a small bump on the bridge of her nose. Rachel was always worried that people were staring at it when they talked to her.
Rachel had a great sense of humor. She once recorded a voicemail on the home phone that said, “You have reached Queen Rachel and her humble servants… please leave a message after the beep.”
Her middle name, “Joy,” was truly one of the best ways to describe her fun-loving personality.
Rachel’s Challenge includes a series of student empowering, educator motivating programs and strategies called the Awaken the Learner Five-step School Improvement Process that equips students and adults to create and sustain safe, caring and supportive learning environments essential for academic achievement. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote,
“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.”
The elements of the school improvement process are designed to create a culture of kindness and compassion and to equip students and adults with resources to insure that their schools are safe, caring and supportive learning environments essential for academic achievement.
Rachel’s Challenge was started by Rachel’s dad and stepmom, Darrell and Sandy Scott when they realized that the writings and drawings Rachel left not only had an impact on her friends and classmates, but also resonated with students around the world. Although Rachel was a typical teenager who even wrote about her “ups and downs,” she had a passion and conviction that she would someday change the world. The Scott family knew her story and passion had to be told to inspire others to make their world a better place.
More than 21 million people have been touched by Rachel’s message, and they continue the legacy of making a difference in their communities. Each year at least 2 million more people are added to that number. These are just a couple of the results of Rachel’s Challenge. In one survey, 78% of students indicated they would definitely intervene in a bullying incident in their school after seeing Rachel’s Challenge. In the last 3 years, Rachel’s Challenge has received nearly 500 unsolicited emails from students stating that after hearing Rachel’s story they reached out for help as they were contemplating suicide. Some even state that “Rachel saved their life.”
Rachel’s Challenge is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization based in Littleton, Colorado.