It was a pretty impressive sight to behold on Main Street in Malone this morning: a couple thousand school children holding a couple miles of paper chain (about 21,000 individual links), each link representing a distinct act of kindness done by one of our young people over the course of the last few months. Horns honked and church bells rang to celebrate this unique achievement.
Our own Holy Family School students and staff took part in the Rachel's Challenge/Karen's Hope event. Rachel's Challenge was inspired by Rachel Scott, the first student to be killed during the Columbine High School shootings back in 1999. The anti-bullying/peace-making program was brought to Malone last year by Karen Bourdon-Clark, a much beloved local counselor/educator who poured her heart and soul into implementing Rachel's Challenge in all of Malone's schools--both public and parochial. Tragically, Karen herself suffered a violent death early last May.
What happened today had been Karen's dream, and is now also her legacy. She envisioned not so much a paper chain, but a chain reaction of kindness that started with students, moved through their families, and then across the entire community. This morning--in multicolored splendor--we witnessed that hope beginning to be fulfilled.