About Rachel's Challenge
160,000 students skip school every day for fear of being bullied.National Center for School Engagement
It doesn’t have to be this way. Creating a school climate less susceptible to harassment, bullying and violence is possible. We see it happening in socioeconomically and demographically diverse schools across North America every day.
For us it started when Rachel Joy Scott was the first person killed in the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999. But that was only the beginning of the story. After her death, many students that Rachel reached out to shared stories with the Scotts about the profound impact her simple acts of kindness had on their lives; even preventing one young man for taking his own life. They soon realized the transformational effect of Rachel’s story and started the non-profit organization that is Rachel's Challenge today.
In the seventeen years since we lost twelve innocent lives, including Rachel, her legacy has touched 22 million people and is the foundation for creating programs that promote a positive climate in K-12 schools. Her vision to start a chain reaction of kindness and compassion is the basis for our mission: Making 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. And it works!
Rachel's Challenge programs provide a sustainable, evidence-based framework for positive climate and culture in our schools. Fully implemented, partner schools achieve statistically significant gains in community engagement, faculty/student relationships, leadership potential, and school climate; along with reductions in bullying, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Every year:
- Over 1.5 million people are involved in Rachel’s Challenge programs.
- More than 1,200 schools and businesses are reached.
- Over 150 suicides are averted.
- Bullying and violence decrease.
- Community service and acts of kindness increase.
Today, Rachel's Challenge exists to inspire and equip every person to create a permanent positive change not only in themselves, but in their schools, their businesses and communities. We have a comprehensive set of age-appropriate programs for K-12, college and business. The objectives of these programs are all the same; to continue Rachel's legacy of kindness and compassion and to:
- Help schools and businesses become safer, more connected places to live and learn.
- Stimulate real culture change by actively involving the entire community in the process.
- Change lives by providing culturally relevant social/emotional training.
- Increase achievement and ensure results by engaging the participants’ heart, head and hands in a continuing improvement process.
We are hopeful that you will decide to continue Rachel's legacy by helping us get her message to more students and adults. As Rachel wrote in her final school essay:
"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. People will never know how far a little kindness can go."
Thank you for starting your own chain reaction.