The notion that every action can have a positive reaction was the basis of a recent character education program – Rachel’s Challenge – at Arrowhead Elementary School.
For the past several years, the school has been integrating this national program with its character education program PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). Both programs reward and praise students for exhibiting positive behaviors as a means of encouraging similar actions in the future.
The assembly introduced students to the inspiration behind the program – Rachel Scott, a victim of the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999 – and discussed how they can work to promote a culture of inclusion, acceptance and kindness. As a symbol of their commitment, students and staff members were invited to sign a banner in the days following the program.
Throughout the year, students who are “caught” demonstrating acts of kindness are given a paper chain of kindness link, which bears their name and the behavior displayed. Teachers connect these links in a display throughout the building, and at the end of the year the links are all connected for a schoolwide celebration. A kindness and compassion calendar is also distributed each month for families to follow.