160,000 students skip school every day for fear of being bullied.

Why is that? 

If our basic needs for security, identity and belonging aren’t being met it puts us in a fight, flight or freeze mode.  These 160,000 kids are in flight mode.  They are so fearful, they can’t even make it to school, let alone learn.  Think about how many more students are in either fight or freeze mode because of fear and isolation; and you’ll begin to understand the magnitude of this issue.

One of four students reports being bullied during the course of the school year. Studies show that bullying can lead to academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood.

Isolation, harassment and violence are unfortunately the norm for too many young people.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Creating a school environment less susceptible to harassment and violence is possible.  It is happening in culturally diverse schools across North America every day. 

These positive school ecosystems must be built on a solid foundation. 

This foundation is the culture of the school.  It is the soil where security, identity and belonging take root.  The better the soil, the deeper the root, and the more stable the culture becomes.  This foundation is built by: 1) awakening a desire for change in students and staff; 2) creating an awareness of self and others; and 3) building student-to-student and teacher-to-student connections. 

Building a strong foundation requires, first, a catalyst; a story or significant event that ignites the passion for connection and change.  This flame must then be fueled by: 1) relevant student, teacher and staff training; 2) simple classroom strategies and content; and 3) meaningful service within the school and community.  These work together to help create a culture where students and teachers feel safe and connected; and achievement can flourish.

Last year Rachel’s Challenge delivered culture building programs to 647 schools across the country.  We were in 47 States, Canada, Bermuda, Mexico and more.  This represents almost 1 million students, educators and parents involved in our programs.  It affords us the privilege of seeing first-hand, every day, the positive results of a solid culture and healthy climate.

What would the impact on your school, your community, our world, be if those 160,000 students felt safe and connected?

Just $2.74 a day ($1,000 annually) brings Rachel’s message of hope to 200 more students and educators.  Please help support this cause by making a donation to Rachel’s Challenge.  Simply go to www.rachelschallenge.org and hit the donate button on the top right.  The process is fast, easy and secure.

Thank you for joining the battle to end fear, isolation and harassment by promoting positive culture and climate in our schools. 

Together we can do it!

Safer, More Connected Schools

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