Anti-bullying, anti-teen violence program to be held at Walla Walla Valley Academy

Rachel's Challenge is named for the first student in the Columbine High School shooting.

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COLLEGE PLACE - Community members are invited to participate in Rachel's Challenge on Tuesday at Walla Walla Valley Academy.

The evening session, geared for parents and community members, starts at 7 p.m. at the school, 300 S.W. Academy Way.

Rachel's Challenge is an anti-bullying and anti-teen violence program inspired by Rachel Scott, the first student to be killed in the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado on April 20, 1999.

Although just in high school when she died, Scott has been posthumously recognized for her strong faith in God and Christianity, and a firm belief, noted in several of her journals, that a bold act of compassion has the power to spark change and improve the world.

Rachel's Challenge was formed and inspired by those beliefs and tailored to inspire youths toward goodwill. The program received the Friend of Education Award from the National Education Association of New York in 2006.

Tuesday's public session will wrap up a day of student-geared presentations at the school.

The program uses presentations, video footage, and interaction between students to drive home a message of tolerance, respect and understanding. Student leaders attend a special afternoon session with the goal of gaining resources to use throughout the year.

The evening session is meant to help educate parents and others on what students have learned throughout the day and to encourage understanding and support.

More information on Rachel's Challenge is available at www.rachelschallenge.org

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