Sunday, December 13, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Start a Chain Reaction of Kindness in Memory of Rachel Scott and Others Who Died at Columbine High School Ten Years Ago

by Ali Adair, Associated Content Society
The students at Midvale Middle School near Salt Lake City, Utah are starting a chain reaction of kindness and taking Rachel's Challenge for their 2009 New Year's Resolutions. I recently saw a middle school presentation of Rachel's Challenge, the very popular school non-violence curriculum based on the life and death of Rachel Joy Scott. Click here to learn more about Rachel.

A month after the Rachel's Challenge presentation, the school dance classes at another middle school presented a moving Rachel's Challenge Holiday Dance show to the entire school body. Rachel was the first person to be shot and killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. The dance show included a choreographed depiction of the fear, panic, and grief the students must have gone through at Columbine High School that day. Then, the dancers presented all five challenges that Rachel gave the world in her essays and journals to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. Rachel's five challenges are:

Eliminate prejudice by looking for the best in others

Dare to dream - set goals - keep a journal

Choose your influences - input determines output

Kind words and small acts of kindness = HUGE impact

Start a chain reaction with family and friends

As a certified high school business teacher, Rachel's Challenge made a big impact on me to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion. I decided to poll 150 middle school students to see if they had any clear written goals and what impact Rachel's Challenge made on them. I asked if they had any 2009 New Year's Resolutions. Here is their remarkable, compassionate response.

What are your New Year's resolutions? Think of Rachel's five challenges as you write them.