The Edmond Sun

Education

September 5, 2013

Ida Freeman students start a chain reaction

IMPACT grant brings Rachel’s Challenge back to Edmond

EDMOND — Ida Freeman Elementary students were the first elementary students in the district to hear the story of Rachel Joy Scott, a 17-year-old who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.

As young adults travel across the United States, they share the story of a young girl in programs based on the writings and life of Rachel and her legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others or who were new at her school.

Shortly before her death she wrote, “I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.”

Ida Freeman’s new principal, Keith Pautler said, “For us, character education is at the forefront and this is another tool to celebrate student success in interacting with each other.”

Colleen Kirk visited the students Thursday morning and presented the story of Rachel as a child in elementary school and how she changed those around her by extending them kindness and compassion. Through short film clips, Rachel’s simple, yet profound philosophy shows how to defuse bullying, disrespect and prejudice as it brings hope where there is isolation and despair.

Kirk said her family is friends with Rachel’s family, and she has been sharing the story of Rachel and her writings for four years.

“Each program caters to an age demographic,” Kirk said. “Why would I not do this? It gives us an opportunity to create and sustain a movement of kindness and compassion.”

As Kirk visited with the students she shared the four tenants of Rachel’s Challenge for elementary children. They are: Use kind words, do nice things, include others and start your own chain reaction.

After each topic was named the students chimed in, “Oh, yeah!”

Kirk told them they could start a chain reaction by writing something they are going to do for someone else on a piece of paper and with glue start a paper chain.

All 16 elementary schools, the three high schools and Boulevard Academy will be receiving the impact of Rachel’s life in school assemblies during September. Four assemblies were scheduled in elementary schools this week.

By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Rachel’s Challenge is helping create safer learning environments, Kirk said.

Middle school students were able to participate in the Rachel’s Challenge program last year through a $7,500 grant from Ken and Gae Rees.

Elementary and high school students will be in age appropriate assemblies throughout September through a $50,000 IMPACT grant from Cox Connects Foundation. The grant is the first presented and funded through donations by Cox employees.

Orvis Risner students participated in the Rachel’s Challenge program Thursday afternoon, and students at Russell Dougherty Elementary and Clegern Elementary received the challenge Friday.

 

1
Text Only
Education
  • north 1.jpg U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10

    All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
    U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
    “This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • OC expands to 5 academic colleges

    Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
    OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
    “Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”

    April 23, 2014

  • Ekso 1.jpg Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action

    In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
    In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
    Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
    Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Be on the lookout for termites

    Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
    Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.

    April 23, 2014

  • earth day 7.jpg Central community learns about water conservation

    Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
    Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
    During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Accountability push for public schools now in question

    One by one, K-12 education reforms passed in previous years by Oklahoma lawmakers are being targeted for weakening or repeal.
    Among them: Common Core State Standards, the Reading Sufficiency Act, A-F school grades for districts, and middle-school end-of-instruction exams for history and social studies. These could all be scaled back or revoked by various legislative bills that have passed in both the House and Senate.

    April 22, 2014

  • State suspends student testing over glitches

    Computer glitches forced state education officials to suspend online testing Monday, affecting student testing in Edmond and Deer Creek.
    State Superintendent Janet Barresi said as a result of online testing disruptions for students in grades 6-8 and high school end-of-instruction (EOIs) exams she directed testing vendor CTB/McGraw Hill to suspend online testing for the day.
    “We certainly share in the frustration that students and school districts feel,” Barresi said. “It is of paramount importance that CTB finds the nature of the problem and resolves it as quickly as possible.”

    April 21, 2014

  • Guthrie board calls for Common Core repeal

    A resolution recently passed by the Guthrie school board calling for the repeal of Common Core standards has attracted the attention and support of several state legislators.
    State Reps. Lee Denney, R-Cushing, Dale DeWitt, R-Braman, Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, and state Sen. AJ Griffin, R-Guthrie, praised the school board for weighing in on the Oklahoma Legislature’s pending action to repeal state-issued Common Core standards.

    April 21, 2014

  • Touch-A-Truck event draws families to UCO

    Edmond Electric and Edmond Vehicle Maintenance are co-hosting the Edmond Touch-A-Truck from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 in the UCO parking lot off Second Street. Touch-A-Truck is a fundraising event that provides children of all ages with the opportunity to experience life-size vehicles and interact with community support leaders like police officers, firemen, construction workers and many more. Families will have the opportunity for a hands-on exploration of many vehicles such as Edmond’s own fire trucks and police cars, an Edmond Electric bucket truck and even a solid waste truck.
    Admission for the Touch-A-Truck event is a suggested $2 donation with the proceeds going to the Edmond HOPE Center. For more information, contact Edmond Electric at 216-7671 or email michelle.gumaer@edmondok.com.

    April 21, 2014

  • Biggest student loan profits come from grad students

    This week, the Congressional Budget Office projected that the federal government would earn roughly $127 billion from student lending during the next 10 years.

    April 19, 2014