Temple Middle begins Rachel's Challenge | Community Spirit
TEMPLE, Ga. -- The students of Temple Middle School have accepted Rachel Joy Scott's challenge to improve their school and community through acts of kindness and compassion.
It is just the latest of many Georgia schools to join Rachel's Challenge, a nationwide movement named for the first victim of the Columbine High School massacre.
Temple Middle's theme is "Let's Start a Chain Reaction," according to principal Gail Parmer.
"We would like for this theme to transition into our community through demonstrating a caring and nurturing spirit," she said.
Rachel Scott was only 17 years old when she was shot to death on Apr. 20, 1999. Her uncle, Larry Scott, shared her remarkable story with Temple Middle students on Tuesday.
Rachel's Challenge places emphasis on five beliefs that Rachel practiced during her short life:
* Dream big and believe in yourself
* Be kind to others
* Practice positive "gossip"
* Show appreciation for those you love
* Be the answer
Larry Scott defined each action to the audience at Temple MIddle. He shared one of his niece's favorite quotes: "Don't let your character change color with your environment. Find out who 'you' are and let it stay its true color."
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Larry Scott also challenged students to focus on the positive and find the good in everyone they meet.
He told a story that involved Rachel, then 13 years old, tracing her hands on the wall behind her bedroom dresser. Inside the tracing, Rachel wrote, "These hands belong to Rachel Joy Scott and someday will touch millions of people's hearts."
Rachel's parents, Beth Nimmo and Darrell Scott, didn't find the tracing until two years after her death. Since then, they have used it as one of the program's themes to influence others to practice kindness.
Temple Middle will hold a Rachel's Challenge assembly in the school gymnasium at 7 p.m. tonight. The school is located at 275 Rainey Road.