Rachel's Challenge Comes to Local Schools

by Press Release-Burlington County | Oct 18, 2006
Rachel's Challenge Comes to Local Schools The Burlington County Freeholders and the Burlington County Partnership for Healthy Adolescents seek to create safer school environments by talking to high school students about kindness and compassion through a program called “Rachel’s Challenge.”

The Partnership for Healthy Adolescents, funded by a grant from the NJ Department of Health and Senior Services, will sponsor Rachel’s Challenge at Pemberton High School on Wednesday, October 18th and at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly Thursday, October 19th. In addition to the daytime program for students, evening programs will be held for parents in the Pemberton High School auditorium at 6:30 p.m. and the RV Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. The program also will be held in Burlington City High School on November 21st and at Willingboro High School in the spring of 2007.

“Creating a safe environment for kids to learn and grow in is a vital component to any community,” said Freeholder Dawn Marie Addiego.

Rachel’s Challenge is a national campaign designed to help school administrators, parents and students create safer and more productive places to learn and achieve.

The goal is to motivate and equip students to embrace new values of kindness and compassion so that no child is left behind because of fear and violence in their school.

The program is based on an essay, “My Ethics, My Codes of Life” written by Rachel Joy Scott, one of the students killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. In it she issued a challenge to her generation.

The Challenge is that people show compassion to one another thus creating a chain reaction of compassion and love for fellow human beings. The program consists of three steps: A school assembly, student leadership session and an evening community event. The Challenge uses Rachel’s life story to touch the participants “hearts”, fills their “heads” with knowledge on what to do and teaches them to use their “hands” to get active in their schools toward this wonderful mission.

For more information on The Burlington County Partnership for Healthy Adolescents or Rachel’s Challenge, contact Elfrieda Francis at EFrancis@co.burlington.nj.us or (609) 265-5548.

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Author: Press Release-Burlington County

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