Rachel’s Challenge program at school draws high praise from students, faculty

Rachel’s Challenge program at school draws high praise from students, faculty
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Last week’s Rachel’s Challenge program was a “very dynamic” presentation for students in the Union City School System, according to Kristen Miles.
Mrs. Miles, Union City’s school health coordinator, made a brief presentation about Rachel’s Challenge to the Union City Board of Education Monday night. She said the program featured a “very dynamic speaker” and “was very well received” by students.
She said when the program began, “you could have heard a pin drop.”
Rachel’s Challenge is a program based on the life and writings of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the April 1999 Columbine school shooting in Colorado. The program is designed to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying and negativity with acts of respect, kindness and compassion.
It’s estimated more than 2.5 million students annually experience Rachel’s Challenge. Since it started, more than 17 million people have heard Rachel’s story around the world.
“It was very, very, very engaging … very well received,” Mrs. Miles said.
She went on to say she and others “were very pleased with how it went.”
Mrs. Miles said there were many positive Facebook postings and tweets from students that followed the Rachel’s Challenge presentation. She said there were “great comments from some of the students.”
Director of Schools Gary Houston said he was very pleased with the program, too, and was particularly pleased with how the city and county school systems worked together to bring the anti-bullying and pro-kindness message to students.
Houston described the program as “very meaningful” and “very emotional.”
He said the two school systems “worked really well together.”
Bringing Rachel’s Challenge to Obion County also apparently caught the eye of the Obion County Chamber of Commerce, which recently named Mrs. Miles and county school health coordinator Chasity Homra as educators of the year for Obion County.
Mrs. Miles’ presentation highlighted a relatively light pre-holiday agenda Monday night. The school board meeting lasted a mere 15 minutes
In other action, the board:
• Was given a detailed report from Houston on recent successes of the school system’s athletic programs, including football, cross country and golf. He also briefed the board on Breast Cancer Awareness activities in the school system last month and informed the board about several upcoming events.
• Was informed Angie Morrow has been hired as an educational aide at the Union City High School and Union City Middle School libraries.
• Was provided with detailed “progress reports” from each of the three schools in the city school system.
Prior to the start of Monday night’s meeting, board member Dr. John Clendenin led a prayer and after the meeting officially began student representative Joseph Shanks led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Absent from Monday’s meeting was board member Curtis McLendon.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 11.13.12

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