Elementary school taking on Rachel's Challenge

Elementary school taking on Rachel's Challenge

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by NewsChannel 36 Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on September 21, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 21 at 5:52 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Everyday students learn new subjects like math, science, reading and history.  But there's another lesson being taught that's just as important.
   
NewsChannel 36 has talked about Rachel's Challenge and how more and more schools are coming on board.  Now, the first elementary school in our area is joining the effort at Reedy Creek Elementary School.
   
Students there are learning more than math.

"They get the book skills and everything but they really don't understand life,” said Reedy Creek Elementary fourth grade teacher BJ Williams.

One lesson about life they will learn comes from another student. Rachel Scott, 17, was the first student killed in the columbine shooting in 1999.

When Rachel's dad came across her journals, he discovered how compassionate his young daughter was.  So he's taken Rachel's message of kindness to schools across the country, hoping to spread the message.
"If you can touch one person's life and it really does start that chain reaction,” Williams said.

"I do think that it is an important thing to start very young, whether it's elementary school or especially in the home, how we teach as parents our children,” said Reedy Creek principal Mary Webb.  “We are almost that parent during the school day so it's import for us to teach what we expect.

While the specifics of the columbine shooting will be told to them on a much different level than it's told to older students, they will learn about being respectful to others.

"With Rachel's Challenge, I think it really is that message, how one person can make a difference, it's not necessarily that you have to make huge changes but just the act of kindness that you show one person, a person who's new, a person who doesn't seem to fit right in, how that one individual can do something to change that,” Webb added.

Starting Monday, students will learn about things like conflict resolution skills and kindness in their classrooms.

Then on Friday they'll come together for a big assembly with an inspirational message about Rachel's Challenge.

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