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The Baltimore Sun

Rachel's Challenge Comes to Havre de Grace

Rachel's Challenge, a program that grew out of the Columbine school shooting tragedy, is coming to Havre de Grace High School Sept. 7, and the middle school on Friday, Sept. 9. In addition to a schoolwide assembly, there will be a community event, on Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

The community is invited and encouraged to attend. Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. Rachel's acts of kindness and compassion coupled with the contents of her six diaries have become the foundation for what has been called the most life-changing school program in America.

Her brother, Craig, was in the library that day and lost two close friends and narrowly escaped death himself. He was the only student at Columbine who was in the library, the worst of the killing zone, and also lost a sibling.

Audio and video footage of Rachel's Challenge holds students spell-bound during a one-hour school presentation that motivates them to positive change in the way they treat others. This is followed by a 90-minute training session involving both adult and student leaders.

This is an interactive session that shows how to sustain the momentum created by the assembly. The Rachel's Challenge presenter conducts a powerful session with parents and community leaders. To sustain the positive climate change in a school, Rachel's Challenge offers a year-long curriculum called the Friends of Rachel Club that encourages students to continue the chain reaction of kindness and compassion.

A few weeks after the tragedy, Darrell Scott, Rachel's father, spoke to a Congressional House Judiciary Committee regarding issues of school violence. His speech has become one of the most widely read on the Internet.

Shortly afterwards he founded Rachel's Challenge, a bullying and violence abatement program.

More than 1.5 million students annually experience Rachel's Challenge and have the opportunity to accept the challenges, modeled after Rachel's life and writings. The universal message of kindness and compassion told by Rachel's story has been heard by students in several other countries. Since its beginning in 2000, the number of requests to present Rachel's Challenge to students, parents, and educators continues to increase. The Scott family and other Rachel's Challenge certified presenters have spoken to more than 15 million people in live settings, and have reached millions more through being featured on popular media outlets like CNN, Fox News andNBC.

Darrell Scott has also authored three books including the best-seller "Rachel's Tears."

For more information on how to have a Rachel's Challenge event at your school or conference please call 1-877-895-7060 or visit our website at http://www.rachelschallenge.org.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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