In December, a representative from Rachel's Challenger spoke to students at Boardman Center Middle School, bringing the message to be kinder and help one another. Out of that assembly came the commitment to form a Friends of Rachel Club at the school and to take the message of that first assembly to heart.
Rachel's Challenge is a program that was started after 17-year-old Columbine, Colo., High School student Rachel Scott had lost her life to a gunman. When her parents discovered her diary, in it she wrote of being nicer to one another. Since the program started, it has spread to schools across the United States, including BCMS.
Following the initial assembly, all the BCMS students signed a pledge as part of Rachel's Challenge to end violence and bullying. Over the past two months, the students are continuing to spread the message and keep it fresh in everyone's mind.
Photos special to the Town Crier
Local rock band Elliot Didur and the Magma Project wowed the students at Boardman Center Middle School on Friday, Feb. 8 as a follow-up to Rachel’s Challenge. The band is made up of Elliot Didur on guitar and vocals, Jordon Long on bass, piano and backup vocals, and Kyle Powell on drums. Didur and Long are former BCMS students and are currently sophomores at Boardman High School.
"The student Leadership Council and grade eight students just completed a slide show/public service commercial about Rachel's Challenge that aired on Feb. 14 on our school TV," said Leadership Council advisor Marilyn Sheetz. "It reinforced students' commitment to their pledge. It was put to music and was very nice and meaningful."
Sheetz said the school studio manager Jesse McClain has also helped the program by airing different things related to Rachel's Challenge and the message the program brings.
BCMS student Sarah Belinky said, "Since Rachel's Challenge I really make the effort to think before I speak. I want to be positive when I talk with my peers."
Sheetz said the students at BCMS have been doing so good she felt they deserved a reward, and the timing was right as she was approached by some former BCMS students.
"The band Elliot Didur and the Magma Project contacted me to see if we were interested in them playing at school," Sheetz said. "I asked them if it could be a benefit concert to thank our students for their continued random acts of kindness and they agreed."
The band is made up of three young musicians. Elliot Didur plays guitar and sings, Jordon Long is the bass player as well as playing piano and singing backup vocals, and Kyle Powell is the drummer. Didur and Long are former BCMS students and are currently sophomores at Boardman High School. The band performed original music at the concert held at the final period of the day. The concert lasted 55 minutes and really impressed some students.
Eighth-grade student Josh Jenkins stated, "I was expecting to hear a high school band and was surprised how put together and really talented they are."
Scheetz said, "Students have really stepped up and the performance was a way of saying thanks for their continued commitment to doing the right thing."