News and Tribune

Education/Schools

September 16, 2013

Spreading the word: The message of Rachel’s Challenge persists at Jeffersonville High

(Continued)

JEFFERSONVILLE —

For her, she said simply giving someone a smile or saying hello has made a difference for her and others.

“I’m just so glad that Rachel’s Challenge came to this school,” Williams said. “This being my fourth year at Jeff High, I’ve seen the most positive impact at this school. I think the environment at Jeff is turning into more of a safe and positive environment where I hope students would feel more comfortable and free to be themselves.”

Williams said she doesn’t think students are still ready to cry over Scott’s story, but they’re not the only ones keeping the message going. Staff have stepped in during their daily 30-minute impact period.

“I think the emotional wave has definitely eased out, but that goes along with anything,” Williams said. “I think it has come down a little bit, but I think with the Jeff High staff and with the impact period we have, it’s able to be brought back up again.”

As the school year progresses, Williams said she thinks the program will continue to have an effect on the school’s culture, but it’s already had an effect on her.

“I think for me, it’s brightened my day because I’m not focusing on what’s going on in my life,” Williams said. “For other people, I think it’s encouraging, too. Everyone is the same and equal, so just to show one simple act of kindness seems to brighten their day. I know it brightens mine.”

Dale said students won’t have the motivational speakers come in every week to remind them of Rachel’s Challenge, but they’re already doing a good job of reminding themselves.

“We kind of lose our sight of that and we don’t always get reminded of it,” Dale said. “But like Rachel said, she just wanted to start a chain reaction. The whole school doesn’t have to know about it to keep it going, it can just be the reaction between one person who helped another.”

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