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Reynolds School District offers Rachels Challenge

The Reynolds School District invites parents, faith groups and members of the business community to attend the 'Rachel's Challenge Community Launch' from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29, at Reynolds Middle School, 1200 N.E. 201st Ave., Fairview.

Rachel's Challenge is a national program that 'creates permanent changes in the school culture and climate by mobilizing students and adults to adopt caring and compassionate behaviors,' a press release states.

The program memorializes the philosophy and actions of Rachel Joy Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School shootings on April 20, 1999.

Rachel's Challenge 'begins with an emotional call to action' and is followed up by the forming of Friends of Rachel Clubs, where students continue to transform themselves and their school community through living out five components of Rachel's Challenge:

• Look for the best in others.

• Dream big.

• Choose positive influences.

• Speak with kindness.

• Start your own chain reaction.

About 2,400 middle school students in the district will participate in all-school Rachel's Impact assemblies, and up to 200 will receive 90 minutes of Friends of Rachel Club training after the assembly.

'When I experienced the impact of the Rachel's Challenge assembly last year, I was deeply moved,' Reynolds Superintendent Joyce Henstrand said. 'I believe this program has potential to deeply impact and transform individual students and the school climate within the Reynolds School District.'

After the tragedy, Scott's father, Darrell Scott, began to speak around the nation and used writings and drawings from Rachel's many diaries to illustrate the need for a kinder, more compassionate nation. Rachel's Challenge is now active in middle and high schools nationwide.

RSVP to attend Rachel's Challenge by calling Andrea Watson at 503-491-3428.