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Tag Archive | "Columbine High School"

Actress in Columbine film to speak at local church


 

Payton Christian, an actress, model and speaker, will speak at North Kent Community Church on Sunday, April 30, and be on hand to speak to youth that evening at a community-wide showing of “I’m not ashamed,” a film telling the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shooting in 1999. Courtesy photo.

Payton Christian, an actress, model and speaker, will speak at North Kent Community Church on Sunday, April 30, and be on hand to speak to youth that evening at a community-wide showing of “I’m not ashamed,” a film telling the story of Rachel Scott, the first victim in the Columbine shooting in 1999. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 was a tragic event that people will not forget. And the stories that came out of it—like the shooting of Rachel Joy Scott—the first victim, are a reminder of the courage of many of the students.

“I am not ashamed,” a movie that tells her story and is based on Scott’s diaries, came out last fall. It will have a special showing next weekend, April 30, at North Kent Community Church, 1480 Indian Lakes Rd NE, at 5:30 p.m. Payton Christian, an actress who plays a Columbine student in the movie, will be on hand to give her own testimony during the 10 a.m. service April 30, and will speak to youth at the community-wide screening at 5:30 p.m.. She will also speak to youth at the En Gedi Youth Center on Monday, May 1, at 2:45 p.m. at Red Hawk Elementary.

Payton is an 18-year-old actress and model who lives in Erin, Tennessee. Her faith and family are both important to her. She lives on a 200-acre farm called Christian Farm, with her mom, dad, and grandmother. She was homeschooled from about second grade on, because of an auto-immune deficiency. “I would be sick all of the time, catch colds and flu really easy,” she explained. So her mom decided to keep her home and homeschool her. It’s gotten better as she’s gotten older, but it’s still with her. “It’s just something I have, it doesn’t stop me,” she said.

When she was 11, she was watching New York fashion week, and told her mom she’d like to do that. So they looked at agencies, and chose a Christian-based agency. “They told me I was a little short for modeling but they could put me in a movie here and there,” she explained with a chuckle.

Her first movie was “Rumors of War,” when she was almost 12. “It’s an intense, faith-based film about the end of days,” she explained. “Not for kids under 13.”

Payton has done a variety of movies—both secular and Christian, but said her heart is with faith-based movies. “I love God and love doing films about Him and his word, and how he’s worked through people’s lives,” she said.

The Post asked Payton how she became involved with “I’m not ashamed.”

“I had seen some talk about it, and I helped with some of the casting. My agency was doing the casting and I was there that day, and I listened and watched as the actors read for their parts. I later talked to my manager about it, and said ‘If there is anything I can do to be a part of it, I want to do it.’ So I was there from day one to the last day,” she recalled.

She said they were all happy with the response to the film. “So many people showed up at the premier, and huge groups came to see it,” she said.

Payton Christian loving on a parrot, on the farm she lives on with her parents and grandmother in Kentucky.

Payton Christian loving on a parrot, on the farm she lives on with her parents and grandmother in Kentucky.

When Payton is not acting, modeling, or speaking, she likes to spend time reading—“I have 500 books in my room,” she confessed. She also spends time with the animals on their farm. The farm is home to an array of animals, including regular farm animals as well as camels, zebras, and birds. But one of her favorite things is working with the rescue horses they take in. “I feed and help them put on weight and just love on them. I have a real passion for that. It’s a humongous this for me,” she explained.

Payton’s big heart is not just for animals. She is also involved in a foundation called “To write love on her arms,” a depression awareness and suicide prevention cause. And she also just started a new foundation called Bibles in Battle, a foundation to provide bibles to every soldier fighting overseas. She said she would have a donation box set up when she comes to speak in case people want to donate to that cause.

Payton said that she feels faith should be important to everyone. “People are worried about everything. But whenever we leave this earth, those things we worked so hard to get won’t be important. God doesn’t care how much money we make, where we live, what we drive. He cares that we love him and follow his word. He should be our number one priority.”

When she talks to the youth in Cedar Springs, she will try to impress on them that no one is ever perfect. “Don’t try to make yourself perfect. To God you are already perfect from day one—he loves you the way you are. It doesn’t matter what group you are in; you don’t need to prove yourself. You have God and that’s enough,” she said.

What does Payton see in her future? “My goal is mostly to do what my heart tells me—what God wants me to do—to spread his message and do as much good as I possibly can,” she said.

Payton has never been to Michigan, and is looking forward to it. “I’m overly excited that I get to be here and talk to everyone,” she remarked. “And I’m looking forward to seeing the sights!”

For more information on the showing contact Pastor Craig Carter at 616-550-6398 or craigcarter8282@gmail.com.

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Targeted Acts of Kindness—


Rachel’s Challenge Community Event

Bill Cataldo, Middle School Curriculum Coach

On Tuesday, October 29, a challenge of compassion, empathy and kindness was given to students in grades 6-8.  Rachel’s Challenge was a day of reflection and positive growth for our students, staff and community.

Rachel Scott was the first victim in the Columbine High School shooting of 1999. The focus of our day was not so much on the tragedy, but on the life of a young girl that modeled kindness and dreamed to touch millions of lives in positive ways.  Learning about Rachel’s dreams through her personal journals, her parents started Rachel’s Challenge.  Cedar Springs Middle School and Red Hawk Elementary students have accepted the challenge to start a “Chain Reaction” of kindness and look to embody this message of respect, acceptance, and compassion as they shine light on darkness and sow love into hatred.

High fives, compliments, apologies for past actions, positive notes on lockers and inspirational posters are already multiplying. Students and staff are brainstorming many ways to touch lives with kind words and actions, creating a culture that is even more positive, safe, fun and welcoming to all.

Let’s commit to joining them, spreading more kindness into our workplace, home, neighborhoods, businesses, churches, and athletic events. If you catch one of our students being kind to someone they may not know well, please share with us.  We would love to hear how our students are taking this message and making an impact in their community!

Thank you Cedar Springs Education Foundation, Cedar Springs Rotary, KSSN/Arbor Circle, and our students and parents for helping to fund this amazing day!

More information about Rachel’s Challenge is available at www.rachelschallenge.org.

 

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Rachel’s Challenge coming to Cedar Springs Middle School


Rachels-ChallengeOctober 29 at 7:00pm

Each day 160,000 students do not go to school because they are bullied, teased and harassed. By turning the story of a tragic death at Columbine High School into a mission for change, Rachel’s Challenge is helping create safer learning environments and making a world-wide impact.

And it’s coming to Cedar Springs Middle School on October 29, at 7 p.m. The Cedar Springs community is invited and encouraged to come to this free presentation.

More than 19 million people have been touched by Rachel’s message, and they continue the legacy of making a difference in their communities. Each year at least 2 million more people are added to that number. These are just a couple of the results of Rachel’s Challenge. In one survey, 78% of students indicated they would definitely intervene in a bullying incident in their school after seeing Rachel’s Challenge. In the last 3 years, Rachel’s Challenge has received nearly 500 unsolicited emails from students stating that after hearing Rachel’s story they reached out for help as they were contemplating suicide. Some even state that “Rachel saved their life.”

rachels handRachel’s Challenge is a series of student empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and allay feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote,

Rachel’s Challenge is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious organization based in Littleton, Colorado.

“I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.” 

Rachel’s Challenge was started by Rachel’s dad and stepmom, Darrell and Sandy Scott when they realized that the writings and drawings Rachel left not only had an impact on her friends and classmates, but also resonated with students around the world. Although Rachel was a typical teenager who even wrote about her “ups and downs,” she had a passion and conviction that she would someday change the world. The Scott family knew her story and passion had to be told to inspire others to make their world a better place.

Please attend this free presentation with your family on October 29 at 7:00 p.m. You won’t want to miss it!

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