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Brittany Taylor Jon Jee The hope of having

Published: February 19, 2011 11:00 PM

Brittany Taylor Jon Jee The hope of having the perfect world may only be a dream in some cases. However, a group at JGHS is trying to bring students together in the hopes of making that dream come true. Last year, the "Rachel's Challenge" program came to our school. This program shares the story of the Columbine High School shooting and how the loss of Rachel Scott's life affected others. This presentation opened the eyes of students who want to make a difference. "Rachel's Challenge made me want to make a difference, because I saw how many people can be greatly affected by just a little kindness," said sophomore Cheyann Underwood.This year, the follow-up program called "Rachel's Legacy" was presented to the student body of the high school. The middle school students saw the "Rachel's Challenge" program. This was meant to remind everyone of what "Rachel's Challenge" wants to accomplish. "I believe Rachel's Challenge made it aware that there is a lot of negativity in our school that could easily be stopped. I did feel motivated to make our school a more friendly place for everyone from this presentation," said junior Amanda Dearth. To leave Rachel's message and make a difference in our school and community, JGHS started a "Friends of Rachel" (FOR) group. This group accomplished a few projects last school year, and they are still making a difference. "I honestly believe that Friends of Rachel has had a positive impact on our school," said Underwood."The mission of 'Friends of Rachel' is to create an atmosphere of kindness and respect, not only between students, but also between faculty and staff and faculty, staff and students. We are also trying to create a place where people can feel safe and accepted, and to lower the occurrence of bullying," said FOR adviser Phyllis Davidson. One project that the group has been working on is the "Caps for Cancer." The purpose is to collect any kind of plastic bottle caps, including soft drinks, water, laundry detergent and any other types of screw on lids. Look for the pink boxes in each of the English classes, the Family and Consumer Science rooms and a container in the cafeteria. These caps will be used to help a local cancer patient receiving chemotherapy. This collection will be going on all school year and people can donate at any time. Another project that one of the FOR groups is doing is posting a birthday calendar for each month. Birthdays of all students are on the bulletin board in the cafeteria. The snow days have made it hard for FOR to meet, but they will be restarting their group meetings during all three lunches on Thursdays and after school on Mondays very soon. During each 30 minute meeting, there is an activity planned that deals with "Rachel's Challenge." This group is open to any student who would like to participate. Students who signed up at the beginning of the year are asked to please start coming to the meetings again. To kick off second semester, there will be an "After School Special" which will include activities and the showing of the movie To Save a Life. This meeting is open to any student who would like to join and to see what FOR is trying to achieve. There will be further information posted around the school and make sure to listen to announcements for the date, time, place and all that will be happening at the "After School Special." The Friends of Rachel group hopes to encourage other students to get involved by helping to initiate an atmosphere of kindness in order to start a "chain reaction" through JGHS and into the community.

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