Currently the majority of Rachel’s Challenge Program (Friends of Rachel or FOR) meetings and events are held in the morning before school.
The current morning meeting times are not working for all students. Some students cannot attend morning meetings and would benefit from holding meetings before, during and after school.
The original meetings are from 7:05 a.m. to 7:25 a.m. Also, the first high five day was in the morning. Students may ride a bus and the bus arrival times vary between 7:05 a.m. and 7:25 a.m. making it impossible to make the meetings. Some students may eat breakfast at school and not have time to come to the meetings. Breakfast is a very important part of the day so students can be at their best.
If the meetings are in the mornings, students rush to get to the meeting place, but if they are starting at a later time, it would be easier to organize the students. Students filter into the meetings causing disruptions to the flow. This seems inevitable in the morning as buses arrive at different times and parents drop students off at different times.
Although attendance isn’t mandatory, it is difficult to know what is going on at a meeting if a student cannot attend it. Students who want to attend events for the club might not know what is going on during the meetings. Therefore, they will have to try to ask around about what happened. Rachel’s Challenge is a group effort and if the whole group isn’t there, how are students to know what’s going on?
Other students may argue that after school meetings wouldn’t work because they have after school sports or other activities that they have to attend. With the short time of the meetings, these students can easily ask for permission to get to the other activity late or to miss just one meeting for another group.
The best solution for FOR is to have a variety of times for the meetings. For students who cannot attend any meetings, once or twice a marking period, club members can be called during the school day for a brief meeting to be able to catch up on what has been missed. Some meetings could be in the morning and some after school. This will get more students involved.
Schedules are hectic for all students and teachers but more variety in meeting times will increase student participation in FOR. This organization and movement are too important to not have the most participation possible.