The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

School Columnists

February 21, 2013

Lakeside forms Friends of Rachel group

(Continued)

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP —

On Dec. 12, Rachel’s Challenge came to Lakeside. The ambassadors from Rachel’s Challenge started a group at Lakeside called Friends of Rachel. The Friends of Rachel take on the responsibility of driving Rachel’s message forward within the school and the community. After an emotional presentation, more than 150 students were trained on how to be leaders and on how to further the movement. These students were also specially trained in bullying prevention and peer mediation.

Jostalyn Klosky, one of the advisers of Lakeside’s Friends of Rachel, is particularly pleased with how well the group has been received in the school.

“I think a lot of kids really enjoyed the assembly. It really reached out to them,” Klosky said.

Rachel’s message touched the students at Lakeside and inspired them to make a difference in the lives of others.

Lakeside’s Friends of Rachel decided to continue Rachel’s mission by forging their own chains of kindness. The students continuously create a metaphorical chain by respecting and supporting each other. They also created a physical chain to represent the “chain reaction” concept. Each link of the chain holds a kind and encouraging message written by a Lakeside student or a compassionate act that someone witnessed. The group hopes to have a massive chain by the end of the year, which should, in accordance with Rachel’s ideologies, inspire even more students to join the growing community and accept “Rachel’s Challenge.” The chain now contains more than 1,000 links. It serves as a reminder to always treat others with kindness and respect, and new links are constantly being added on.

The Friends of Rachel also spread Rachel’s message through the use of kind words. They create colorful, inspiring posters and hang them throughout the school in hopes that they will brighten someone’s day. They also act as support for students who have fallen on hard times and just need someone to talk to.

Rachel’s message has inspired millions of people worldwide. Her story has spread kindness and generosity across the globe and, more importantly, saved lives. Whether she knows it or not, Rachel has left a lasting mark on the world, and her chain reaction of kindness has touched us all.

To find out more about Rachel’s Challenge, visit www.rachelschallenge.org.

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