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Middle level students inspired by Rachel’s Challenge

Published on Tue, Oct 11, 2011 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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Parker Jallo and Makenna Hull committing to Rachel’s Challenge at NLMS.

Over a three-day time frame last week, Pat Nixon from Rachel’s Challenge presented assemblies of hope and inspiration to local Lake Stevens students and families.

Nixon was a sophomore and attending high school just a few short miles away from Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. where two boys went on a shooting rampage and killed 13 people including 12 students and one teacher, injuring 27 others before turning their weapons on themselves.

That was the worst school shooting in American history. It took place on Tuesday, April 20, 1999.
Rachel Joy Scott was the first person the duo shot and killed that day, little did they know what her life, and ultimately her death, would create.

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same,” Rachel Scott wrote in an essay for school just a few short days before her death.

That is how Rachel’s Challenge got its start. Now Scott’s words and her hopes for more kindness and compassion is spreading not only throughout the country but all over the world.

Students at Lake Stevens Middle School, North Lake Middle School and Cavelero Mid High School were challenged to follow these five simple steps in an effort to create a chain reaction of love, compassion and kindness:
• Dream Big and Believe in Yourself , Be Kind to Others, Practice Positive Gossip, Show Appreciation , Be the Answer - You Just Might Start a Chain Reaction.

Students were encouraged to “look for the best in others because if you do that you can erase prejudice,” Nixon explained.
Throughout the school year, students at North Lake Middle School will be submitting Kindness Cards to acknowledge the positive impact their classmates are having on their lives. Additionally, the five themes will be reinforced with ASB and Builders Club sponsored activities at all local middle schools.

“The hope for our city is that the impact of Rachel’s Challenge will inspire greatness and cultivate positive change as it spreads throughout the community. Treat others with kindness and compassion; you just might start a chain reaction,” North Lake Middle School Associate Principal Lisa Sanchez said.

Nixon encouraged students and their families to follow Scott’s example and be kind to all of those they come into contact with. He explained this by sharing some of Scotts words with the students.

“Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer,” Scott wrote in her essay. “My codes may seem like a fantasy that can never be reached, but test them for yourself and see the kind of effect they have in the lives of people around you.”
That’s what Rachel’s challenge is all about.

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