■ Hemet Unified School District
Hemet Unified School District is a tight-knit family. As educators we are given the opportunity to watch students throughout their educational journey. We see them push past what their own expectations are and test their limits to ensure their dreams become a reality. We get to help them succeed and prepare them for their futures, because for us, our focus on student success does not end when they graduate. We are invested in our students and helping them reach their dreams. Recently the Hemet community lost a life all too soon, and for one of her former teachers, he felt the need to do something in her memory.
Chuck Wolf, a Social Studies teacher at Tahquitz High School, created a challenge, the Lauren Challenge, in which participants are challenged to commit one random act of kindness a week. His hope is to counteract violence with kindness and maybe “change the world, one random act of kindness at a time.”
Mr. Wolf said he had a hard time after he learned of the death of his former student, Lauren, whom the challenge is named after. He wanted to do something for her and he refused to accept that “this is just how things go.” He thought that if we all made a conscious effort to do one kind act a week, it could change people’s outlook and cause people to think in a more positive way.
Mr. Wolf has challenged his friends through social media, and Tahquitz staff are starting the challenge on their campus. Wolf said he is starting to see some of his friends performing their random acts of kindness and is excited to see the change.
Tahquitz Principal Eric Dahlstrom said administrative staff has been encouraging teachers to send positive notes about students home to parents as the site’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) initiative. He is excited about the prospects of the PBIS initiative coupled with the Lauren Challenge and the effect it will have on everyone on campus.
Thank you Mr. Wolf for turning your grief into something positive for the Hemet community. We are excited to see what comes of this challenge and we invite everyone to take the Lauren Challenge! A Facebook page, Lauren Challenge, has been created to help spread the word.