Bedwell has been a Rachel's Challenge campus since 2012 when a generous grant from the Somerset Hills Education Foundation (SHEF) made it possible to implement this powerful anti-bullying initiative. The Rachel's Challenge program provides a sustainable, evidence-based framework for creating a positive climate and culture in schools. We believe that seven years of "using kind words, doing nice things, and including others" at Bedwell has resulted in a safer, more emotionally connected atmosphere where kindness and respect prevail.
Rachel’s Challenge encourages students to start a chain reaction of compassion by acting with kindness, choosing positive influences, and looking for the best in others. Students who are caught in the act of demonstrating positive behavior receive a paper chain link describing their act. Their link gets deposited into a grade-level jar in the Bedwell lobby. Each Friday, one link (two on Spirit Days!) is drawn from each grade-level jar during the morning announcements. Those students receive a "Caught in the Act" bracelet, have their picture displayed on the front lobby bulletin board, and help with the morning announcements the following week.
Each month, a student who was caught in the act of performing a deed that epitomizes the characteristics identified by Rachel's Challenge is named a "Chain Reaction Super Hero". The "Chain Reaction Super Hero" has her or his photo displayed on a designated bulletin board for the entire year, receives some super hero bling, does the morning announcements, and has lunch with a few invited friends in the counselor's office. At the end of the year all of the "Chain Reaction Super Heroes" are invited to an ice cream party.
As students cumulatively earn their grade level's designated number of links, they receive a paper eagle to add to their grade level's nest on the front lobby bulletin board. The grade level that has the most eagles in their nest at the end of the month earns an extra recess!
Members of the fourth grade Chain Gang meet on Friday to staple together all the links that were awarded that week, forming a "chain of good deeds" that grows around the school as the year progresses. Special event milestones such as a recess dance party, gum & games day, or pajama day are located at various points throughout the school. When the chain of good deeds reaches one, the whole school celebrates!