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Rachel's Challenge Program

Paula Sandahl

Coventry Public Schools is working with Rachel’s Challenge to stimulate academic achievement and social-emotional learning by focusing on the connection between students, faculty, and staff. Using the remarkable story of Rachel Scott, the first victim of the Columbine High School tragedy, Rachel’s Challenge awakens individual hope and purpose, which in turn promotes safer, more connected school communities. A Rachel’s Challenge staff member will share Rachel’s story with the entire Coventry community in a one-hour presentation on Tuesday, October, 4, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. in the Veterans Auditorium at Coventry High School. All adults and children over the age of 11 are welcome.

Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School and Coventry High School students will participate in presentations designed for students on October 3 and 4.

Dr. Robert Marzano, respected education researcher and author states, “Rachel’s Challenge is the most powerful intervention I have seen in 40 years of working in education.” Rachel’s story unlocks the desire for change. Then, its programs come alongside the existing efforts of the school to sustain a culture where harassment, violence and self-harm are reduced; where teachers are free to teach and students are empowered to learn.

An independent study conducted by Multi-Dimensional Education, LLC, a nationally recognized educational program evaluator, found that, “Schools implementing Rachel’s Challenge with fidelity achieved statistically significant gains in community engagement, faculty/student relationships, leadership potential, and school climate; along with a reduction in bullying behavior.”

Using age-appropriate programming for K-12, Rachel’s Challenge schools have reported up to 84% reductions in disciplinary referrals. As many as 150 suicides are averted annually, as reported by students themselves. In a pre- and post-attitudinal survey of 9,881 students from socioeconomically and demographically diverse schools across the US and Canada, respondents reported a 282% increase in the number of students feeling safe at school after participating in Rachel’s Challenge.

In just over two decades of social-emotional and mental health training, Rachel’s Challenge has reached over 30 million students, educators, and community members. Rachel’s Challenge continues to work hard to turn the ideals of kindness and compassion into actionable strategies that help promote a safe and productive learning environment. For more information about Rachel’s Challenge, visit

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