Update on Rachel’s Challenge – Anti-bullying program in Gaston County Schools

Schools partnered with the Gastonia Grizzlies in May 2013 to sponsor “Rachel’s Challenge Night” at Sims Legion Park. The event brought attention to the Rachel’s Challenge program and featured a fun night of baseball, activities, and fellowship for students, teachers, parents, and the community.

Gaston County Schools reintroduced Rachel’s Challenge for the 2013-2014 school year with assemblies at each middle and high school between September 10 and October 7. Former University of Maryland and Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Adrian Branch spoke to each student body with the message, “You’re not a winner or a loser. You’re a chooser.” His autobiographical message explained to students that they have the power to choose their actions, reactions, and their attitude about what happens to them. Mr. Branch’s interactive talk involved many students at each school. He shared stories about his mistakes and what he learned from them. He emphasized the story of Rachel Scott and the choices she made on a daily basis to reach out to other students and to stand up for her beliefs. Mr. Branch was well received by each school, and the students enthusiastically participated in his talks.

Gaston County Schools plans to continue the Rachel’s Challenge initiative in upcoming years because of the influence it has on our students and staff. We believe helping students to understand Rachel’s five challenges makes our schools better places to learn.

Grant Sparks, Director of Counseling and Media Services
Gaston County Schools

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