VIRGINIA BEACH -- Sometimes you worry kids won't retain much from the previous school yearduring their summer breaks.

When it comes to the lessons of Rachel's Challenge, that couldn't be further from the truth.

Back in May, students at Princess Anne Middle School in Virginia Beach were busy working on the chains of kindness for the 13News Rachel's Challenge Anti-bullying Rally at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex. Eachlink represented an act of kindness at the school and the chainwrapped around the football field.

'I can't imagine how big this is going to be,' said Ethan Rose.

'Two miles of kindness,' said his friend Tanner.

Fast forward to October. Ethan is back at school and he still believes in The Challenge.

'It shows kindness, how people can be nice to each other and keeps bullying out of schools and stuff,' Ethan said. 'I'm really proud I can do that.'

Rachel's Challenge empowers students to become leaders -- champions of kindness. It gives them the strength and support to encourage other students to be better people, to respect each other and to celebrate their differences.

They admit they sometimes get pushback from other students.

'They make fun of me for standing up against bullying because they think it's stupid.' Hailey Schmidt said.

But they know what they're doing is right. Throughout the school year, 13News will support them by chronicling their activities and watching them realize just how powerful they can be when they stand up for something they believe in.

'I'm willing to take a stand because I love people and volunteering,' Hailey said. 'It breaks my heart when tons and tons of people I see get bullied'.

So far this school year, 12 new schools have embraced Rachel's Challenge in Hampton Roads:Ocean Lakes High School, Poquoson High School, Hickory High School, Kellam High School, Larkspur Middle School, Princess Anne Middle School, Hornsby Middle School, Plaza Middle School, Princess Anne Elementary School, Creeds Elementary School, Green Run Elementary School and Crossroads Elementary School.

Read or Share this story: