Dr. King, Rachel's Challenge teach youngsters about kindness, tolerance


by LaSalle Blanks


Posted on January 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Sherwood Forest ES

View larger map

NORFOLK -- Some Norfolk school children are learning respect and non-violence through a special program called Rachel’s Challenge.

At Sherwood Forest Elementary School, teachers also spent time talking about the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

"His dream was white people and black people can get along," said one student.

The dream of getting along, caring for each other, being kind is the message left behind by Rachel Scott, the first student killed in the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. 13 people in all lost their lives that day in the rampage.

Her life ended suddenly, cut short by gun violence, as was Dr. King’s life.

His words and now hers left behind in her writings are motivating people to make a difference.

"I will practice kindness, compassion, inclusion and respect," one student said.

"What it's like to be kind. It's like you're not bullying somebody."

Students have signed pledge banners and made paper chains with acts of kindness written on them.

The hope is that the ideas being talked about now will become part of these children’s lives into adulthood.

Rachel’s Challenge is in many schools throughout Hampton Roads.