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Re: Friends of Rachel Club in the Colorama Parade

Letters to the Editor

 

On behalf of the Friends of Rachel Clubs at Lake Roosevelt High School, Grand Coulee Dam Middle School and the students of Center Elementary I want to say thank you to the community members that offered support and encouragement to our students and parents marching in the Colorama parade.

For those unfamiliar with Rachel’s Challenge, the program is based upon the writings of Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first victim of the 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School. One of the many goals of Rachel’s Challenge is “to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion” (www.rachelschallenge.org). The story of Rachel Scott is a powerful example of how even the smallest acts of kindness and acceptance can change our perspective of the relationships we have with the people we meet every day.

The colorful paper link chain our elementary students carried in the Colorama Parade is a visual reminder of how much kindness is present in our world. Each individual chain link is covered in a handwritten note about an act of kindness that a student or adult at Center Elementary either witnessed or experienced during this current school year. In effect they were toting a Chain of Kindness.

We started this project in September as a partnership between the Grand Coulee Dam School District and the 21st Century Community Learning Center/SHARP Kids program with the hope of inspiring positive change in our schools and our community. Personally, when I saw the Center Elementary students stretching out to carry their Chain of Kindness, and our middle school students carrying the banner proudly, I was overwhelmed. As a community, we tend to focus on the negative things happening in our schools, but each brightly colored paper link represented a tender act of kindness witnessed in our schools.

Perhaps this can inspire a chain reaction of kindness in our community.

Lee B. Seekins

Director, 21st CCLC

GCD School District

 

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