Local school to highlight lessons on kindness

RANCHO SANTA FE — In October, representatives from Rachel’s Challenge will visit R. Roger Rowe School to speak to the students about how to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion towards one another.
“This program is designed to help students create a positive environment/culture in their lives, especially at school. We are continually working to educate our students on how to develop as responsible citizens,” said Superintendent Lindy Delaney.
The event will be funded by proceeds from a rummage sale the students held in conjunction with the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary and community center last year.
Rachel Scott died on April 20, 1999, the first shooting victim at Columbine High School. She was killed while sitting on a lawn eating lunch with a friend.
About a month before, she had written an essay challenging students to be kind and compassionate towards others and for teachers to help them. After her death, her father Darrell Scott founded Rachel’s Challenge, a program that reaches out to schools and other organizations helping to spread her message and start a chain reaction of compassion.
“Kindness and compassion towards oneself and others is a focus area for our middle school this school year. With this in mind Dana Knees, a middle school parent and liaison, introduced Rachel’s Challenge to Superintendent Lindy Delaney and I,” said Paul Coco, student council advisor.
After researching and discussing Rachel’s Challenge, the middle school community and Student Council were highly motivated to implement Rachel’s Challenge.
The Student Council decided to fund Rachel’s Challenge with profits earned for their participation in the Rancho Rummage Sale due to the program’s strong focus on creating a safe learning environment for all students, improving academic achievement and providing students with social/emotional education.
“Last year’s Student Council did a fantastic job leading our students,” Coco said. “They were instrumental in hosting a student store, working with Kids Korp, partnering with Rancho Santa Fe Rotary and Community Center for the Rancho Rummage Sale, implementing fundraisers to support Japan, facilitating donation drives including The Thanksgiving Feed America Food Drive and The Casa de Amparo Holiday Gift Drive, implementing a middle school recycling program, and organizing various school activities. Our school district and Student Council are fortunate to have such a strong partnership with the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary and community.”
For more information on Rachel’s Challenge, visit rachelschallenge.org.

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