The chain of kindness carried on to Manning Field exceeded expectations, reaching 1,650 feet in length. One hundred Lynn students were at Manning to celebrate the collaboration between eleven Lynn schools on a project that encouraged students to work towards building kind and respectful school communities.
For the past two years, Lynn English High School students have begun their school year with a presentation of “Rachel’s Challenge,” a powerful presentation based on the life of Rachel Scott, the first person killed in the Columbine High School massacre. The contents of her diaries have become the foundation for this nationally acclaimed violence prevention program. Just weeks before her death, Rachel wrote an essay in which she said, “I have this theory, if people can go out of their way to show compassion for just one person, you may just start a chain reaction.” In follow up to this presentation, LEHS started the Friends of Rachel Club, the goal of which is to encourage students to continue Rachel’s chain of kindness and make positive changes in the way they treat others.
One of the club’s most well-received projects last year was the chain of kindness. Students and staff were encouraged to be aware of kind deeds, both large and small, going on around them every day and to write them down on a paper link. Each link was then joined in a chain around the cafeteria. Last year the Harrington and Lynn Woods schools, Marshall Middle School and a few youth programs joined in the project. This year LEHS invited all elementary schools to participate and sent teams of high school students to interested schools to teach them about the chain and help them to get started. In addition to LEHS, participating schools included Aborn, Brickett, Cobbet, Connery, Drewitz, Harrington, Lincoln-Thomson, Lynn Woods, and Shoemaker elementary schools, as well as Marshall Middle School.
Last week, as the chain unfolded around Manning Field, students and staff were able to read samples of the kind deeds documented during the past several months. Many students used the links as a way to thank their parents, coaches, teachers, and other adults in their lives. Some described volunteer work; others mentioned the deeds of friends and even strangers who offered a moment of kindness. Sometimes, they even recognized their own kind actions toward others. Ultimately, the lesson is that even a very small kind deed can make a huge difference in the life of another.