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Anonymous Gift Brings Rachel's Challenge to Westborough

A community presentation will be held Feb. 28.

An anonymous donation of “several thousand dollars” and inspired by the Newtown tragedy will bring a national program to Westborough next week, Assistant School Superintendent Daniel Mayer says.

The gift will fund school and community presentations by Rachel’s Challenge, a program promoting “acts of kindness and respect and intimacy,” Mayer told the school committee this past week.

Rachel’s Challenge was inspired by Rachel Scott, 17, “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,” according to the program’s website.

Mayer said a presentation for parents and community members is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Westborough High School. School officials are encouraging students in grades six to 12 to attend with their parents.

The program is “a way for the whole community to come together and reflect on our values,” Mayer said.

In-school presentations for grades four through 10 will be held Feb. 28 and March 1, school officials say.

“People have said to the T that it’s one of the best inspiring things that they’ve had for the kids,” Mayer said.

The funding for Westborough’s program comes from “somebody who was very touched by, as we were all touched by, the Newtown tragedy, saw something about the power of Rachel’s Challenge” on a TV news program “and decided to make an anonymous donation through Rachel’s Challenge to the community of thousands of dollars to invite us to have Rachel’s Challenge in,” he said.

“It’s a wonderful gift. We’re appreciative of whoever the anonymous donor is. We are taking very seriously the offer,” Mayer said.

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