Lakeside Middle-Schoolers Take Rachel's Challenge to Spread Love, Compassion

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On Friday, hundreds of students from the Tierra del Sol Middle School took part in Rachel's Challenge, a program that promotes kindness and empathy, both at school as well as out in the community.

"We did links as someone starts a chain reaction of kindness, we're starting it around the whole world," eighth-grader Emilly Sample told NBC 7. "So if you open up a door for someone, that just causes them to think, 'Maybe I should do something kind for someone else.' "

Friday's event was inspired by an anti-bullying nonprofit program started by the father of Rachel Joy Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in a mass shooting in Colorado in 1999.

The students in Lakeside assembled paper chains with statements embodying the sentiments of kindness and empathy on individual links, eventually meeting up out on a playing field at a little after 9 a.m., where they combined their efforts to create a single chain hundreds of feet long.

"Students and schools promote Rachel's Challenge in order to make sure we decrease bullying on campus and we increase kindness, sympathy, love and spread community," said Tierra del Sol's principal, Leslie Hardiman.

As Rachel Scott put it, which one student had featured on a banner, "Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer."

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