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McParland students generate 7,068 acts of kindness
McParland students raise their links representing their random acts of kindness. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Students at George McParland School showcased their random acts of kindness on Friday.

As part of their commitment to Rachel’s Challenge – the national program is the legacy of Rachel Joy Scott, the 17-year-old Columbine High student who was the first victim of the April 20, 1999 massacre – they jotted down those good deeds on cards for the past seven months, in turn, creating a link that stretched from the main site on Northgate Drive to the Annex on London Drive.

“We started last October with the power of one in Rachel Joy Scott. Now, it’s no longer the power of one but of 1,200,” Principal Dale Borgeson said.

Teacher Melissa Snaer noted that her fourth-grade class listed sharing anything from snacks to pencils, opening doors for others, or picking up a fallen classmate among their random acts of kindness.

“We had one student who stood up to a bully,” she said.

Her class of 32 contributed 246 random acts of kindness cards to the link totaling 7,068 cards in colors of lavender, green, blue, yellow and green.

However, some good deeds may have gone unreported, including those random acts of kindness done when no one’s looking, according to sixth-grade teacher Dave Ragan.

“Rachel’s Challenge dovetails into our Character Counts program,” he said.

Added Margaret Roberson, who teaches a combination second- and third-grade class: “We have students who always do good things because of expectations.”

Ragan’s students also sent letters to the troops while some went out of their way to welcome newcomers to the school.

 Eighth-grade teacher Ken Johnson noted that his students witnessed others for their random acts of kindness.
“They nominated their fellow students for their good deeds,” he said.

Since taking the Rachel’s Challenge pledge last October, McParland students worked to eliminate prejudice by looking for the good in others; choose their positive influences; provided kind words; dared to set goals; and started a chain reaction.

“Our goal back then was to create (a chain) link from the Annex to the main site,” Borgeson said.

From here, he’s hoping that the Rachel’s Challenge will create that rippling effect, continuing next year and beyond.

“This is a life-long challenge,” said Borgeson.

Rachel’s Challenge was established by the family of Rachel Scott after her death, with the mission to “motivate, educate, and bring positive change to many young people.”