After meeting the folks behind Rachel's Challenge I sensed we had a connection that would lead toward something amazing for kids and schools. I was encouraged to see a school assembly and soak up the message firsthand.
Yesterday, I witnessed Rachel's Story at Mesa Verde Middle School, told by Adam one of the lead presenters at RachelsChallenge.org. The basic message: Treat other people in the way that you want to be treated. We've heard the words, passed down from generation to generation, parent to child. Yet, when the crowd of nearly 1,000, 7th and 8th grade students was asked, "How many of you wake up every morning focused on treating someone else in the same way you want to be treated?" only a few hands rose to the air.
Learning more about Rachel's story was a treat. The true gift though, was hearing the message, "Create a chain reaction that changes the way people treat each other" and then seeing the students respond with enthusiasm and hope for a future without bullying, harassment, or violence of any kind. A sea of raised hands filled the gym when Adam asked, "How many of you (students) have been bullied or felt unsafe?" Kids see the void and actively acknowledge their enthusiasm for change.
My takeaway: kids want to live in a world where kindness trumps violence and hate.
The challenge: finding the support to become a catalyst for change.
The great news: we are beginning to see kids joining together in support of a common cause. I'm in awe of people like Graeme Taylor for his ability to stand up in support of a teacher who wouldn't tolerate bullying and harassment. I'm inspired by a growing number of schools, like Sweetwater Junior High, that give their kids the ability to create PSAs, furthering the message of kindness.
Thank you Rachel's Challenge for rekindling the fire that inspires my life as a parent, parent educator, and founder of Sprigeo.com.