‘Accept Rachel’s Challenge’

To the editor:

Words cannot begin to describe what last week was like. We witnessed an incredible community come together to start a chain reaction. Thank you for embracing and accepting Rachel’s Challenge.

I was able to be a part of each Rachel’s Challenge presentation from the professional development with our staff to the community event Wednesday night. Every event seemed to build upon the next. To sit in an area with hundreds of staff members, with a thousand-plus students, and finally, with over a thousand students and adults and be able to tangibly feel the desire to make a change was awesome.

I was extremely proud of the way our middle school and high school students took up the challenge in the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club trainings talking about the impact Rachel’s Challenge had on them and how they want to make our schools and community kinder, more compassionate places. I could tell the things our students said were things they truly meant. The challenges that were shared with us have the potential to make some very powerful and lasting change.

Many community partners helped plan and finance Rachel’s Challenge. The collaborative effort to bring Rachel’s Challenge to Fort Dodge resulted in a fantastic week for our students and community. Thank you for recognizing the importance of the message of Rachel’s Challenge.

I believe the chain reaction has started. I encourage all of us to keep it going. It only takes one to start a chain reaction, but just imagine the impact we can have if we all work to keep it going. Accept Rachel’s Challenge and start your own chain reaction.

Dr. Doug Van Zyl


FD Community School District

Fort Dodge