June 10, 2013

Rachel’s Challenge – Friends of Rachel

All of us remember (or have been taught about) the events of April 20, 1999; a day that changed the environment and sense of security in schools around the country. Most of us have never heard of Rachel Joy Scott. But, in order to understand the impact of the Columbine High School tragedy on schools around the nation, you have to get to know Rachel Joy Scott. Moran Middle School students will be lucky to have the chance to get to know Rachel on September 24, 2013. And getting to know Rachel will impact the way they look at their peers, their teachers, and themselves. We hope that September 24, 2013 will be a day that stands out in Moran history; this will be the day that we teach students to start a “chain reaction of kindness” at school and in their community.

Rachel’s Challenge is an organization that aims to bring about a positive climate change in schools around the country. In hearing the messages that Rachel Joy Scott left behind before her death on April 20, 1999, students are challenged to reach out to those around them. There will be presentations for all Moran Middle School students and parents on September 24, 2013, to help our community learn more about the messages of Rachel’s Challenge. We hope that all parents are able to attend the evening event so that they can bring the message of Rachel’s Challenge into their homes. We will be carrying the message of the organization through the 2013-2014 school year and beyond.

The key way we will maintain Rachel’s message at Moran is through The Friends of Rachel Club, which all students are encouraged to participate in and which will not cost anything for student participants. A group of student-leaders will be invited to a training conducted by the Rachel’s Challenge staff, which will follow the Rachel’s Challenge assembly on September 24th. These students will serve as the foundation for the Friends of Rachel Club. We will look to these students to generate ideas and engage their fellow group members in starting a “chain reaction of kindness.” The Friends of Rachel Club will allow students to work together to reach out to their peers and community members. Through community service events, school climate activities, and recognition events students will be given the opportunity to create unity and positivity in their school and through the town of Wallingford.

This student-driven organization will be open to any Moran student interested in keeping the chain reaction of kindness going after the Rachel’s Challenge Assembly. We are excited to work with students and use their ideas to build a strong school community. Please contact Stefanie Sonstrom (8th grade Spanish teacher) or Eliza Baker (current 8th grade and incoming 6th grade School Counselor) with any questions or ideas about Rachel’s Challenge and/or the Friends of Rachel Club. You can find more information about the organization at www.rachelschallenge.org.

The Friends of Rachel Club at Moran is in the very early stages of forming and we need all of the support we can get from our parents and students. If you are looking to help, please consider the following:

–          Attend the Rachel’s Challenge Assembly on the night of September 24th.

–          Start a dialogue with your students about what it means to start a “chain reaction of kindness.”

–          Encourage your students to join the Friends of Rachel Club. Recruitment will begin on the first day of the 2013-2014 school year.

–          Contact Ms. Sonstrom or Mrs. Baker with ideas of how students can fundraise for the club.

–          Contact Ms. Sonstrom or Mrs. Baker if you are aware of any organizations that may need the support of the Friends of Rachel Club.