Students and families in Clatsop County will have the opportunity to learn how a chain reaction of compassion and kindness can be started, when Rachel’s Challenge comes to all schools in Clatsop County during the week of Sept. 24.

Through a joint effort between the superintendents and Northwest Regional ESD, Rachel’s Challenge will be occurring in all five districts in Clatsop County. The program was born out of the mass shootings at Columbine High School, but organizers say it is now a legacy to Rachel Scott and her dedication to kindness and compassion toward others.

Each school district will have assemblies tailored to elementary, middle and high school students. Following the assemblies, high school students will have the opportunity to work within a leadership group to get the “chain reaction” going in their school. In the evening, parents and community members are invited to a presentation in their district to learn more about Rachel’s Challenge.

Rachel’s family founded Rachel’s Challenge in 2000. Since its start, the program has been presented in tens of thousands of schools. More than 16 million people in all 50 states and six countries have joined the challenge. The objective of the program is to “create a safe learning environment by re-establishing civility and delivering proactive antidotes to violence, bullying and suicide.”

The Challenge will visit Astoria School District Sept. 24, Jewell School District Sept. 25, Seaside School District Sept. 26, Knappa School District Sept. 27 and Warrenton-Hammond School District Sept. 28.

In addition, each district will host an evening presentation open to the community:

• Astoria High School auditorium, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24

• Jewell School District Library, 7 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25

• Seaside High School gym, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26

• Knappa High School gym, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27

• Warrenton High School Gym, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 28

The presentation lasts about one hour. The evening presentation is suitable for children 7 years old and older. Parents should watch for information in school newsletters with more specific information about Rachel’s Challenge in their districts or they can contact building principals for more information.

Astoria School District will have a full day of events, including:

• A presentation to John Jacob Astor and Lewis and Clark elementary school students in the cafeteria at Lewis and Clark from 9 to 9:45 a.m.;

• A presentation to Astoria Middle School students in the auditorium at Astoria High School from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.;

• A presentation to high school students in the AHS?auditorium from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m.;

• Training for high school students in the AHS commons from 2 to 3:30 p.m.

The community presentation from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the AHS auditorium will close the day of events in Astoria.

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