Hampton parents get involved with Rachel's Challenge


by LaSalle Blanks


Posted on December 13, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 13 at 5:02 PM

 HAMPTON -- During the day, the Rachel's Challenge student assembly at Kecoughtan High School had students crying.  By night, it was the parents' turn.

The program is inspired by the writings of Rachel Scott, the first student killed at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado.  In her diary entries, she challenged kids not to be filled with hate. She challenged kids to dream big and look out for others; make their schools better places.

National speakers have put Rachel's words into actions and special assemblies have reached more than 15 million students around the world.  Now, it's Hampton's turn and the kids at Kecoughtan High have already pledged to accept the challenge.

Some hope it will help problems that seem to pop up in hallways around the country.

"I think it'll stop some bullying in the school and people start to stand up for more people," Cody Keller said.

"To me it means you care about others and you care how others are treated," said Trevor Johnson, a student at Kecoughtan High School.

Select students receive special leadership training.  They're taught skills to launch programs in schools that inspire acts of kindness, not acts of hate.

Parents get involved by sponsoring Rachel's Challenge club programs. The sponsorship isn't financial -  it maybe allowing students to meet in your home, volunteering your time at a Rachel's Challenge school event, or just by communicating with your child about the vision of the program.

"If parents aren't behind their students, a movement doesn't really take off from the ground, Johnson said."