Elma School District and Elma High School ASB hosted Challenge Day on Jan. 7 and 10 at Elma High School and Middle School. More than 300 students, staff and community members participated in the program that challenged participants to “Be the Change” by first noticing, then choosing and finally acting on the need for positive change.
The goal was to bring peer leaders together from a variety of social groups to shift the norms toward acceptance and respect for one another at the schools. The day encouraged teens and adults to discover the hero within them and be the change they’ve been waiting for.
Challenge Day is a program based out of Concord, Calif., that facilitates interactive events to break down the barriers between people and move toward accepting one another for who we really are. The program encourages all to find common ground and make peace by healing past hurts and making amends.
“It helped me realize all people have problems big or small. It’s not just for those with supposed “problems”, it’s for all;” according to Cesar Cavero, EHS Eagle peer leader. “Others need to be involved to realize we should not pass judgment. We can’t possibly know what people go through and how they cope with it.”
At the end of the two days, several students appreciated the program and have pledged to be the change that will assist in putting an end to bullying and harassing.
“Challenge Day opened everyone’s eyes on what people face day to day. I believe students will treat each other better and with kindness because they are more aware of life’s challenges,” said Shelby Felder, EHS Eagle peer leader.
The Elma schools plan to continue the program with a variety of student lead events for the remaining year. To learn more about Challenge Day and the Be the Change Movement visit www.challengeday.org.