taking rachel’s challenge {teaching kindness through tradgedy}

Two weeks ago my teammie and I attended a training session about Rachel’s Challenge. No, it’s not me! This is a foundation {for lack of a better word} started by the family of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shooting in 1999.


Now, in 1999 I was 17, a senior in high school, and not too concerned about school shootings.

Ironically, Rachel Scott was 17, a senior in high school, and probably not concerned either.

I won’t go into her whole story because frankly the video {see below} tells it all far better. I will say as a parent-this video crushes me. I cannot imagine not knowing if my children were alive or dead for hours upon hours. Calling out to every bus load of survivors. Scanning lists of names to see if my child had gotten out of the school. Even if you are not a parent, you are certainly a teacher!

Here's the link to the video:


The one in particular is RC PROMO, the third one from the left on the top row.

Since the training I have learned more and more about her short, but powerful life. Not only did she write in her journal that this was her last year {written in 1999}-which is amazing enough here are a few more chilling things.

After her death, her family was moving furniture in her bedroom. On the back of her dresser she had traced her hand and written that one day this hand would touch the hearts of millions. She was 13.

A few days after her death a stranger called her father. He said he had been thinking of him and had been having a recurring dream about 13 tears falling onto a book. Her father responded that this didn’t have any meaning and after a little convo, didn’t think anything more about it. Later on her journal {which had a bullet hole through it} was given back to her family. Inside Rachel had drawn a picture of tears. There were 13 people who lost their lives that day…

the whole thing gives me chills.

Here’s the purpose behind this post. As a school team responsible for starting parts of the Challenge Here's how we are starting {for real-this is straight up from the school email!}:

*Chain links - start hanging them in the hall and giving them out for acts of KINDNESS and COMPASSION

*Take your class to sign the Rachel's Challenge pledge banner. 

*Remember that children will have questions about Rachel and some already know how she died. Be honest, but positive and move on to why her life was important and how we can honor her.

*Like "Rachel's Challenge" on Facebook for updates and more information!

Be kind and compassionate! 

Another awesome thing is that all the trainers work directly with the family. Claudia was our trainer.

And here’s the challenges put forth to our school family:

o Look for the Best in Others
o Dream Big
o Choose Positive Influences
o Speak with Kindness
o Start Your Own Chain Reaction

I made a little poster set for my classroom and school fam. Obviously it’s free. Click away below!


interested in more:

There is a substantial number of Public Service Announcements that have recognized speakers.  Here’s that link:



  1. Oh my gosh, I love you to bits! Thank you so much for including me! I am truly honored, and blessed to have you as my friend! Xox

    1. We are all blessed to have you and your talents! seriously!

  2. We've taken on Rachel's Challenge at our school for a few years now..and it has had such a positive influence in both our students and staff. It's wonderful how a little kindness goes a long way. Thanks for taking the time to blog about it..hopefully more school's will take on the challenge too! :)

  3. I attended my county's Parent Academy as both parent and teacher 4 years ago and heard Rachel's brother speak. It changed me as a teacher and a mom. Thank you for passing along this important story! :) I'll never forget my big, tough hubby and I crying the entire way home. What an life changing message!

  4. I heard Rachel's dad speak a few years ago and it gave me such chills. It's such a great program. Thanks for the posters! They will be such a great resource for my classroom. However, I'm having a hard time getting them to look right (letters are all moved around and overlapping other words) with my power point. Any way I could get a PDF copy? Or am I doing something wrong?? Thanks--Stacee

    1. I uploaded the ppt instead of the pdf...opps!
      But it is fixed now!

    2. Thanks! I'm excited to use them in my classroom!


notes to the teacher

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