Thousands accept Rachel's Challenge

DENISON, TX -- Thousands of people took a vow of kindness and compassion at Friday night's third annual Rachel's Challenge in Denison. It is based on the life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. In her writings she left behind a legacy of reaching out to those who were different and picked on.

About 3000 people vowed to spread kindness and compassion Friday night at Munson Stadium.

Jenna Gould took the stage, sharing that message through a song she wrote for a friend going through a difficult time.

"She had heart surgery and her arm didn't work. People would make fun of her behind her back, and I didn't think that was right. So I was just writing that about her to never change herself," Gould said.

This is the 3rd year the program has been hosted by Denison Schools.

"They really have bought into this and this year we have had 54,000 recorded acts of kindness where they put it on a piece of paper and put it on a chain " Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott said.

Adding to the acts of kindness, high school students put on "Nickels for Nick", a fundraiser for a 16-year-year old student who suffered from a stroke earlier this year.

"It was a talent show put on the Denison High School Theater Department. We donated all of our proceeds to his family to help with their medical expenses traveling back and forth, and just to help him with his recovery," Brittany Corwin said.

Students and staff alike agree Rachel's Challenge is making a difference.

"When you create a culture where kids don't want to bully, where it's cool to be kind to people and to be compassionate and be respectful. It doesn't eliminate it, but it's greatly cut it down," Dr. Scott said.

" You can see that it makes a really big difference in the halls," Corwin said.