Ramblers 4 RachelFriday, April 27, 2012 By Savanna Di Stefano
Sophomore Derek Chiodo may have a different definition of kindness than others. Walking into Fraser for the first time, Derek already had already pictured what attending public school for the first time would be like. “I had this perfect picture of how my life would be here: a safe place,” Chiodo said. Before attending Fraser Chiodo attended St. Germaine Catholic School. He was bullied by other students in his class throughout most of elementary school, until he thought that bullying others would solve his problem. “I tried to fit in to not get bullied. It just ended up turning me into a bad person,” Chiodo explained. After regretful visits to the principal’s office, Chiodo began homeschooling to stay out of trouble with peers. “I had to go back to my Christian ways,” Chiodo said. Chiodo has reversed the chain reaction that he was once a part of. He decided to change his attitude, and befriend anyone who comes his way. Chiodo is just one person who has been affected by others in more than one aspect of his life. His story shows the impact words and actions have on others. “I think we’ve all had times when we’ve been treated in a way where we didn’t like it,” Ramblers for Rachel club sponsor Nancy Scopas said. A chain reaction of kindness has been sparked. The members of the new Ramblers for Rachel club have dedicated their lives to shining for others in their daily lives by sharing kindness and compassion to others. After Rachel’s Challenge came to visit our school, 40 students were trained and automatically became members of the club; however, the club remains to be relatively small so far. Students get together to write notes, make posters and write acts of kindness on paper chains to be hung up on the bulletin board next to the pool. The goal for club members is to spread kindness. Besides, Rachel was a kid just like all of us. The only difference is that she let her words and actions shine and be a light for others. The main building block of Ramblers for Rachel is showing random acts of kindness. These acts are demonstrated with paper links that are hooked together. These links are for everyone to write on and will be available in the Ramblers for Rachel bulletin board and in room 1305. “I’d love someone to write what it would mean to have a kinder, gentler Fraser. Real words form real kids,” Scopas said. Teacher Melissa Rumminger found Rachel’s challenge about four or five years ago. The teachers have been funding for it and were able to receive the money through a state grant. “We just knew that it was a message for kids interacting with each other,” Scopas said. There are acts of kindness happening every day, but they are not always very noticeable. “It’s not that it didn’t happen, it’s that we didn’t notice it. We get oblivious to it,” Scopas explained. Ramblers for Rachel aims to reach out to other students with actions that stick out from others and make others feel welcomed and loved. Chiodo learned the importance of kindness the hard way, but that does not have to be the case for everyone.