CLOVER — Clover students are taking steps to create a caring community.
On Oct. 19, students from Oakridge and Clover middle schools, Blue Eagle Academy and Clover High will walk together starting at 6 p.m. to the Friday night football game at Memorial Stadium. Inside the stadium, students will unveil their chain, with paper links declaring their commitments for performing acts of kindness.
This is a way for every kid to make a difference, said mom and Clover School Board member Sherri Ciurlik. Its not the big things that are always most important but little things, one-on-one, that are important. This unites them together.
Its all part of the districtwide effort to end bullying and join Rachels Challenge, a worldwide program based on the writings and life of 17-year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999.
Friends of Rachel Clubs will be leading a community walk, technically for students and school staff, bringing awareness to kickoff their campaign, Clover Community of Kindness, said district public information officer Mychal Frost. The whole concept is to have the business community allow students to come in to perform acts of kindness, for example to bag and take groceries out to cars.
Promotion of the event, though, starts Friday, Oct. 12, when students will be selling Krispy Kremes for Kindness. Proceeds will pay for students who join the walk to get into the football game.
Its just about being nice, Ciurlik said. Its about keeping it going and making it a lifestyle, even if its just opening the door.
While Clover School District middle schools started the program last year, this is the first year the high school has joined.
The middle school is the introduction of the five challenges and in high school, its the next step of the challenge seeing whats the impact of random acts of kindness, Ciurlik said.
Ciurlik said the walk will launch a yearlong project for Clover Community of Kindness extending throughout Clover and Lake Wylie to see how long a chain Clover can create in one academic school year.
Ciurlik was effected during her meeting last year with Rachels dad, Darrell, at Oakridge Middle School.
When I saw him reading letters from our kids, he said what makes losing my daughter bearable is seeing her impact, Ciurlik said. One of the things Clovers great at is community. This not only teaches kids the importance of community but is a way to give back to it.
She knows its making a difference.
I saw a student helping an elderly person helping put water in their trunk, Ciurlik said of a recent grocery store visit. Maybe he learned it from Rachels challenge. But I know that made my day better.
Ciurlik who also lead the food backpack program to help feed students on weekends and through summer, said Rachels Challenge is intangible, but with the chain link, you can see it.
Businesses that would like to get involved with Rachels Challenge may call Ciurlik at 803-631-0005 or 803-322-6491.