Local students take on Rachel's Challenge

March 3, 2011 12:58:06 PM PST
Their acts of kindness honor a Radnor High graduate, and one of the Columbine shooting victims as well.

"I am an expert at crane-making," said Radnor High School sophomore Eliezer Marte.

In just 3 minutes, Eliezer proved himself right. He made a crane - the bird, not the machine - out of paper. He joined more than 75 schoolmates at Radnor, who stayed after school today to take make a thousand paper cranes, part of a unique challenge.

"The legend has it if you can make a 1000 paper cranes, than you can make a wish," Eliezer explained.

The wish they were trying to earn was on behalf of a recent Radnor graduate and his family.

"My team found out that a recent Radnor graduate had been the victim of a terrible car accident and is still in a coma as a result of his injuries," said teacher Kelly Overcash. "We wanted to find a tangible, concrete way to reach out to that family, to reach out to that student, to let them know we are thinking about them.

It's all part of "Rachel's Challenge", a program that encourages communities and schools to find ways to be kinder to one another.

Rachel Scott was the first person killed in the 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. Her acts of kindness have become the foundation for a program the students at Radnor High are calling life changing.

"When Darryl Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, came to the school, he made a very large impact on me and my personal life," said David Kurtyka. The Radnor senior told Action News that Scott's speech inspired him to go around "treating people as nice as possibly as I can."

Since the program started in August, Radnor students have been involved in several activities. They have even taken their kindness movement to elementary schools to inspire younger students.

Sophomore Steven Rhode came up with this metaphor for what they're doing. "Picture the school as a giant pizza and the sauce is love," he said. "The idea of Rachel's Challenge is, we're the bakers. What we need to do is spread the sauce, spread the love."

Click here to learn more about how you take part in Rachelschallenge.org