Rachel’s Challenge: Carroll County Schools, Meyzeek Middle School celebrate the power of one


by Melissa Swan


Posted on June 10, 2011 at 5:51 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 10 at 6:24 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Recently, at Carroll County Schools in Carrollton, Kentucky students celebrated the power of one.   The power of one person.   The power of one act of kindness.

Carroll County students have joined the ranks of those taking Rachel's Challenge and they have put the message to use.

One student says meeting the challenge means she no longer pre-judges people.  She says ,"I am more open to giving people a chance and I try to spread kindness and compassion.

That's what Rachel Scott wanted.

On April 19, 1999 -- tragedy struck at Columbine High School.  Two young gunmen killed 12 students, a teacher and then themselves.  Rachel Scott was the first person shot.

Now, her family works to make changes in Rachel's name.

Rachel once wrote in one of her many journals about being a chain reaction.  She said, "I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion then it will start a chain reaction of the same."

Her hope and her message have come to Kentucky.

At Carroll County colorful strips of paper describe acts of kindness.  Thousands of strips that form links in the chain are piled in the gymnasium until many students are holding the links.  Their paper chain of compassionate acts wraps around the gym.

About an hour away near downtown Louisville, Meyzeek Middle School students have also accepted Rachel's Challenge.

Here, there are six thousand strips of paper, each with words that describe their good deeds.  No act of kindness is too small to make a difference.

"Picking up a pencil, holding open the door or sharing something," says one of the students at Meyzeek.

The strips of paper were also written on by teachers who hope Rachel's Challenge will serve as a life long lesson.

One teacher says, "I hope in the future, down the road they could be in college or high school.  They may have to choose --do I insult somebody or do I help somebody.  We hope because of this it will click.  They will have a visual chain and they will make the right decision."

One sixth grade girl says because of Rachel's Challenge, "I appreciate people more.  I'm trying to be nicer to them than I used to be."

Bags of links from every homeroom are taken outside.  They are stretched around the campus.  Then Meyzeek students hoisted their brightly colored paper chain over the fence to complete the circle.   Just as the circle was completed confetti was tossed into the air in celebration.   Next school year the Challenge continues.


WHAS11 wants to hear from you. Has your school or business accepted the challenge? Email us at rachelschallenge@WHAS11.com. You can also visit the Rachel’s Challenge page on our website. Click here.