CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Rachel’s Challenge program NewsChannel 36 introduced to schools in our area continues to make an impact.
Before learning about Rachel's Challenge, it's safe to say a lot of students had never heard of Rachel Scott and knew very little about the deadly Columbine High School shooting in 1999.
A dozen students and a teacher were killed, and Scott was the first to die. But before her death she wrote about being compassionate and spreading a chain reaction of kindness.
Her father has since taken her message on the road, traveling to schools across the country.
More and more schools, students and communities have accepted Rachel's Challenge of being kind and treating others with respect. For some students, her story really hit home, bringing some to tears and others to a point of change.
This school year we saw one of the first elementary schools in our area accept the challenge when students at Reedy Creek Elementary joined the effort.
"Rachel was the kind of person who loved to be kind,” said Neil McIntye. “She liked to do nice things for other people."
One of the first colleges in our area jumped on board, too, with Gardner Webb University.
With the number of schools accepting Rachel's Challenge, teachers say they're seeing a difference inside and outside of the classroom.
They watched as a chain reaction of kindness spread in 2011, and the hope is that it will continue to do so in 2012.