Norfolk elementary school takes on Rachel's Challenge


by LaSalle Blanks

Posted on November 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Sherwood Forest Elementary School

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NORFOLK –  Norfolk is catching on to Rachel’s Challenge, a national program that addresses bullying.

Rachel’s Challenge is based on the writings left behind by Rachel Scott, a student killed at Columbine.  She called on fellow students to be better people through random acts of kindness.

Rudy Escobar is a guidance counselor at Sherwood Forest Elementary School.  He just won a $2,000 grant to start Rachel’s Challenge.  He is one of six elementary school counselors in Norfolk to receive grant money for the challenge.

"To try to find the perfect anti-bullying empathy building type program, so the students can be kind, productive citizens in the future," said Escobar.

The counselor will meet with these kids on a regular basis and give them skills they need to reach out to kids who might feel picked on or all alone.

He asked the 10-year old “How can you show someone you want to be someone’s friend?”

One student responded, "You can ask them to play with you, sit down and lunch with them and just talk to them."

Escobar says even if they get five kids to change their bullying ways, it will have paid off.

Schools in other local cities including Virginia Beach and Hampton are also taking Rachel’s Challenge.