Students at a South Buffalo school received a lesson in "kindness". As part of our Focus on Education reporting, WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says the Catholic Charities in-school Social Work program delivered the Rachel's Challenge program to Notre Dame Academy on Abbott Road.
"It is simply bringing kindness and compassion back into the world," said Kimberly Suminski, principal of Notre Dame.
Rachel's Challenge is named after Rachel Joy Scott. She was the first victim of the Columbine School Shootings in Colorado in 1999. Scott made entries into her personal journal that inspired this nationwide program. It was her dream to have a peaceful world. The program is designed to empower students and adults to be kind in an effort to prevent bullying, teen suicides and other school violence and discrimination.
"It was very emotional. It home with a lot of students. Some of the students felt they were bullied," said Suminski. "It kind of let people see things in a different light."
Principal Suminski noted during the powerful program helped some students realize they had bullied others.
"We had some students that felt they had not been so nice to others, and it kind of was an eye opener," said Suminski.
Suminski said it is difficult to hear that students bully one another, but she was very pleased with the students interaction during the program.
"It was a very compassionate kind of situation that they were put in, and if they wanted to speak about their situation they could and some of them did," Suminski.
The school was grateful to participate in the program. But the Principal pointed out that anyone can smile and be kind. She said it's time to get back to the basics of human kindness.