Mount Mercy Academy invites Rachel's Challenge, a National Anti-Violence and Anti-Bullying Programby cnewman
The popular educational program RACHEL's CHALLENGE (www.rachelschallenge.org) will arrive in South Buffalo with a series of presentations at Mount Mercy Academy on October 24, 2012. The educational program has gained widespread national notoriety -- as well as praise from educators and parents alike -- on the strength of its message: Kindness, compassion and "positive chain reactions." The program is named in honor of Rachel Scott, a junior at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado, who was the first of 15 students killed in the school's tragic April 20, 1999 shooting massacre.
Started in 2000 by Rachel's father, Darrell Scott, Rachel's Challenge is an anti-violence, anti-bullying program that strives to spread kindness instead of physicality and understanding in lieu of intimidation. The program was founded on the basis of Rachel Scott's enduring positive outlook throughout her brief life, as well as the many diary entries she left behind.
Mount Mercy Academy students, along with 7th and 8th grade girls from local grammar schools, will attend the morning assembly. This assembly begins with a brief video presentation explaining the Columbine school shootings to the viewers, in an effort to add a bit of background and context to the program. As it continues, the assembly showcases some of those who knew Rachel, allowing them the opportunity to discuss how Rachel positively impacted their lives. This one hour "multimedia assembly" is said to be "emotionally charged." In the afternoon, the adult and student leaders of MMA will gather for a 90-minute training session. A community wide event featuring the Rachel's Challenge program will take place at 6:30 pm on that same day in the Mercy Center Auditorium at 625 Abbott Road. Mount Mercy Academy invites all of the students from the morning session, along with their families, to attend this moving and inspiring seminar.
The program hopes to encourage students, school faculty, parents and other community members to adopt Rachel's Five Challenges as everyday facets of their lives. Rachel's five challenges include eliminating prejudice, setting goals and following dreams, choosing one's own influences, offering small acts of kindness every day, and finally, starting a chain reaction of such positive ideals with family and friends.
The Administration at Mount Mercy Academy is taking a strong and proactive stance against bullying. "We believe that Rachel's Challenge will create a movement within our hallways to create positive change. Our students live the mercy mission every single day. A day like this enhances their perspective and inspires them to do more," states Margaret Staszak, Principal at Mount Mercy Academy.