Accepting Rachel’s Challenge


Woodland Middle School sixth-graders learned about creating a positive and bully-free school environment by participating in Rachel’s Challenge.

After the 1999 tragedy at Columbine High School, Rachel’s Challenge was established to inspire and equip every person to create a permanent, positive change in their school through assemblies, team building exercises and the acceptance of others.

Sixth-graders began their day with an assembly led by Rachel Scott’s uncle Larry Scott, who educated the students about Rachel’s story of spreading kindness, dreaming big and starting a chain reaction of positive change. At the conclusion of the assembly, Scott gave the students five challenges to complete during the school year: look for the best in others, dream big, choose positive influences, speak with kindness and start your own chain reaction.

Members of the school’s organization Friends for Rachel participated in student leader training, also led by Scott, to assist students in making the club more productive. Scott inspired club members to help spread Rachel’s message by creating positive banners around the school and activities to engage students in compassionate acts.  

Rounding out the day, East Meadow High School students visited sixth-grade classrooms to conduct lessons about the six pillars of character – trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. The middle school students were also asked to acknowledge the positive people in their lives and consider the impact a single compliment can have on someone.