Rachel’s Challenge: Coming to Pennridge this March

Aarthi Kallur, Journalism Student

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In today’s day and age where mass school shootings are becoming more common, it is natural for schools to try to implement programs to keep students safe. Pennridge is no exception with more ALICE drills and door hooks; Pennridge is implementing many programs to keep the school safe. This March, Pennridge will be adding another safety program: Rachel’s Challenge.

According to the website, Rachel’s Challenge is a school program that aims to make “schools safer, more connected places where bullying and violence are replaced with kindness and respect; and where learning and teaching are awakened to their fullest.” The program was started by the family of Rachel Scott, a girl who was tragically killed in the Columbine school shooting. Rachel was always preaching about kindness and she was a model example of a kind, positive student. Rachel’s Challenge is a program that schools use to train students to be kind; the students then become leaders to the rest of the school. Through stories and hands on leadership seminars, students and faculty become leaders in their school to promote kindness. Thousands of schools participate in this program every year, and the program is said to have a great impact on students. Through Rachel’s Challenge, student suicide rates and bullying rates have decreased. There seem to be many positives that come out of Rachel’s Challenge.




There isn’t much known about what Pennridge will be doing with Rachel’s Challenge. There will be about 75 students (25 from grades nine through 11), six teachers (two from each grade), one counselor and one principal to participate in training. When speaking to Pennridge superintendent, Dr. Bolton, he said, “As stated in their materials, I hope that Rachel’s Challenge starts a ‘Chain Reaction of Kindness’ across the Pennridge community that lasts for many years.”  Rachel’s Challenge is all about spreading kindness. It has had a powerful impact on many other schools. When talking to Mrs.Grimshaw, an English teacher at Pennridge, she was very optimistic about the program and its mission, “I think spreading kindness is very important.” Hopefully, this program can inspire a wave of kindness within our district. So, get ready Pennridge for Rachel’s Challenge coming this March.