‘Rachel’s Challenge’ comes to Hood River

News staff writer

April 8, 2006

The Hood River County School District brings a unique program to the valley April 13-14.

“Rachel’s Challenge” is a national campaign designed to help school administrators, parents and students create safer and more productive places to learn and achieve.

The program is based on an essay entitled, “My Ethics, My Codes of Life,” written by Rachel Joy Scott, one of the students killed at Columbine High School near Denver, Colo., on April 20, 1999. Two students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, carried out a shooting rampage that day, killing 12 students and a teacher and wounding 24 others before committing suicide. It remains the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

Rachel’s Challenge was founded by her father, Darrell Scott, as a way to motivate and equip students to embrace values of kindness and compassion so that no child becomes alienated because of fear and violence in their school.

The program includes assemblies at Hood River Middle School (April 13) and Wy’east Middle School (April 14), as well as evening events on those days open to the community (April 13, Hood River Middle School, 7 p.m.; April 14, Wy’east Middle School, 7 p.m.).

In the past seven years, Darrell Scott has spoken to more than 5 million people in schools, conferences and forums around the world. He has authored or co-authored five books and meets regularly with politicians and educators concerning issues of school violence.

For more information on Rachel’s Challenge, contact Bob Dais at Hood River Middle School at 386-2114, or Catherine Dalbey at Wy’east Middle School at 354-1548.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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