Today, September 27, 2016 an emotional program touched the hearts of 2,000 students at Forestview Middle School in Baxter. The program was founded by the family of Rachel Scott, the first High School student killed in the Columbine Colorado shooting of 1999. Grades 5 and 6 had a presentation geared to their level called Rachel’s Story and the 7th and 8th grade students listened intently as Kendall, a presenter from the national Rachel's Challenge organization, brought an intense message to students, challenging them to take on Rachel's Challenge - to be kind to one another no matter who that person is or what that person looks like. It's about thanking people and accepting people for who they are. It's about not forming cliques that leave new students all alone. It's about not bullying others, but standing up for those that are bullied. It's about making a difference every day and setting goals for yourself to be the best you can be and knowing you are good no matter what the situation is around you.
It was powerful and you could have heard a pin drop in the gymnasium while students sat through their one hour program. Seeing the students today absorb this message was very inspiring.
And to continue the momentum, 98 students were selected and have agreed to undertake the Friends of Rachel (FOR) movement in the school, to carry out the program throughout the school year. All students will become FOR.
We approached Forestview Middle School last spring to see if they would like us to sponsor the $5,000 program. They had heard about the nation-wide program but could never implement it and keep the momentum going without financial help. This year, Principal Jon Anderson and Vice Principal Tom Cooper embraced the program and were enthusiastic about bringing it to the middle school. Crow Wing Power's Community Trust with unclaimed capital credit funds donated to host the program.
Tonight at 6:00 pm parents and students have been invited to a one-hour presentation that will focus on what Rachel's Challenge is and how to help further its message at home and in the community. If you can attend tonight with your child, it will resonate with your entire family.
For more information about Rachel's Challenge check out their website HERE.