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Rachel's Challenge comes to Shaker

According to Principal Richard Murphy, the cost of bringing the program to Shaker is about $5,000 and will be coming out of the school's pupil services budget. The costs, he said, cover pre-information that was provided to the students about the presentation they will be seeing.

"It then covers a very full day," Murphy said.

The presenter's travel costs are also covered in the cost of bringing the program to the school.

Kaercher said that although the Columbine incident occurred 10 years ago when many Shaker were only about eight years old, he is hoping that, through the presentation, they will learn what an emotional situation it was.

After the presenter shows the students a video explaining the Columbine massacre and who Scott was, Rauche said, they will learn about the five steps to Rachel's Challenge.

"The first one is to eliminate prejudice," said Rauche. "And it doesn't just go out there and say, 'Don't be a prejudiced person," or 'Don't be a biased person,' but it asks you to look at the prejudice in yourself."

The next step asks students to dare to dream. Rauche said this is done by setting goals and writing things down in a journal. Next, students must choose their influences, which requires them to be aware of their individual environments and that "our input determines our output," Rauche said.

The next step reminds students to use kind words and encourages them to be mindful and thoughtful of the words that they use on a daily basis, as well as completing small acts of kindness.

Finally, the challenge asks each student to start their own chain reaction. During the presentation, students are asked to close their eyes and think about people who mean something to them.

"Go and tell people how much they mean to you so that you will start your own chain reaction," Rauche said.

Rauche labeled the steps in the program, "very simple concepts and very doable," and said that while the students will be working on these steps all day March 12, the committee is hoping that Rachel's Challenge will inspire actions and behavior for the remainder of this year and in years to come.

The students who are nominated by their teachers this week and who are chosen as student facilitators, or Friends of Rachel, will work with the entire student body year-round to ensure Rachel's Challenge is carried out for more than just one day.""

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