SEL and Mental Health Programs for High Schools
The Kindness Reaction
Stuff happens, and that’s a fact. Good stuff, bad stuff – ALL the stuff. The question is: what do you DO, with all that… STUFF?
An awful lot of stuff happens in High School. We find the music that speaks to us, we explore our interests and test possibilities, we forge friendships that will last a lifetime. Solving the riddle of what to DO with all that stuff helps us create who we are. It’s a process that will last our whole lives; but it is rarely as poignant – or as powerful – as when we’re in High School.
It was exactly this moment – a time of self-reflection, self-discovery, and self-creation – when Rachel and many others had their journey halted. Through Rachel’s words and writings, we have a window to see her work in progress. Through her story, we feel connected to a journey we all recognize.
This is why Rachel’s Challenge presentations resonate so strongly with High School students in particular, as well as people of all ages, from all backgrounds. Because if one girl’s efforts to start a chain reaction of kindness can lead to a legacy that reaches millions, every one of us has just as much power to affect the world around us in positive ways.
This simple message – that your life matters, and that you CAN make a difference – is the reason why we receive hundreds of letters and comments every year from students who stepped away from suicide or self-harm after participating in one of our programs. The change in school culture that comes from implementing kindness and compassion has resulted in at least nine school shootings being averted. And over 20 years later, we often hear from our own “alumni” – students who saw a Rachel’s Challenge presentation in High School, and it shaped the course of their life well into adulthood. When it comes to results, it doesn’t get much better than that.
The Legacy of SEL in Action
Our High School packages encourage participants to take specific steps toward building their own positive legacy. We challenge students and staff to show compassion, to learn from their mistakes, and forgive themselves and others. Participants examine their own lives in the light of personal challenges – encouraged to dream big – and start their own chain reaction of kindness and compassion.
We like to say that we are not an anti-bullying program; that instead we are pro-kindness. By modeling, inspiring and supporting positive behavior, we avoid the negative effects of disciplinary action taken against bullying and violence after they happen. And by steering the culture of schools, we transform the culture of communities, as High School students transition into the leaders of tomorrow.
High School programs are available in Digital, On-site, and Combined packages to allow program customization and flexibility for your school. Our Live assemblies are 60-minute presentations followed by an impactful 1.5-hour training. Our Digital offering is a 6-week classroom program with follow-up and supporting materials.
Digital and on-site programs are complementary to each other and completely modular. Many schools use the Digital programming to maintain the momentum they experience from hosting the Live school assembly program. It is also just as effective to use the Digital program as a preparation to maximize the impact of a subsequent Live delivery. Both programs are also useful stand-alone.
What About K-8 / K-12?
We’ve worked with hundreds of K-8 or K-12 schools over the past 20 years. We know that each school is a unique blend of students with a unique set of needs.
At Rachel’s Challenge, we work hard to deliver age-appropriate content that speaks specifically to the intended audience. To do this in a K-8 or K-12 setting, we make all our elementary, middle school, and high school programs available. That way you can work with your Rachel’s Challenge representative to put together the program that is right for you.