A very special program was presented at Lulu's middle school this week. It is called Rachel's Challenge. It is in memory of Rachel Joy Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine school tragedy on April 20,1999. Rachel was 17 when she was shot and killed as she ate lunch on the grass outside her high school. She was a remarkable young lady because even as a teenager she was already making it her mission to show compassion and start a chain reaction of kindness. She wrote in journals about how she wanted to make a difference in the world. She wrote about her love for God. After her death, her family started bringing this program into schools with the hope of showing students how to make positive changes in the way that they treat one another and put an end to bulling and violence.
Rachel's family members are the presenters, her uncle led the assembly at Lulu's school. Lulu came home very excited about it. She said it was awesome, a lot of students were crying but were also challenged to make a difference! They are challenged to let go of all prejudices. They are challenged to show love to those in their school who have no friends, kids who are handicapped and students who are new to the school. They hear a story about how Rachel invited a new girl who was sitting alone to join her and her friends at a table for lunch. When the new girl shyly declined, Rachel and her friends picked up their own lunches and moved to the girl's table. One of the follow through programs at Lulu's school is the formation a group of students who will meet anyone who is new to the school on their first day. A student is positioned at the school entrance to welcome the new student when they arrive and talk to them, help them out, etc. I can imagine that a friendly face and a kind word could go a long way on your first day at a new school.
It just seems such a remarkable feat, to take something as horrible and hateful as what happened at Columbine and use it to empower and inspire kids to be examples of kindness...only God could do that. He is using that family to make a difference in kid's lives even 12 years later!
When Rachel was 13 she traced her hands on the back of her dresser and inside the outline of her hand she wrote..."these hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and will someday touch millions of people's hearts".
Do something for someone today, you may never know how far a little kindness will go.