This week, schools across the nation participated in Mix It Up at Lunch Day with great success. From colored t-shirts to glow bracelets, each school made the event its own—and every school broke down social barriers and took a step toward creating a welcoming school climate.
A few highlights:
Bay High School
Students at Bay High School in Bay St. Louis, Miss., were asked to leave their uniforms at home on Wednesday and instead wear any color shirt they liked. When they arrived at their Mix It Up lunch, they learned they would be sitting with students wearing the same color shirt. Jeremy Grubs, who organized the event, told WLOX of Mississippi, "When we recognize our differences and we know the similarities are greater than our differences, bullying won't exist."
Photo Credit: WLOX 2012
Cajon Valley Middle School
Cajon Valley Middle School in El Cajon, Calif., mixed it up this week with over 600 students. Students were divided into groups by handing out numbered candies and then got to know each other by finding out five things they had in common. Afterward, each student received a glow bracelet to symbolize the light of new friendship.
Crawford High School
A Halloween theme added a creative touch to Crawford High School’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Peer Helpers and a Circle of Friends helped make the event a success.
Essex Elementary School
“I was happy because I got to meet new friends,” Essex Elementary School student Caroline Doucette told the Gloucester Daily Times. Icebreakers helped students—who had previously practiced introducing themselves—get over their shyness and talk to students they hadn’t previously met. “Sometimes, in a small town it’s easy to assume everybody knows everybody and that’s not always the case,” said Guidance Counselor Gillian Polk. Thanks to Mix It Up at Lunch Day, there are a fewer strangers at Essex Elementary School.
Photo Credit: Allegra Boverman/Gloucester Daily Times
Kyrene School District
All 25 schools in the Kyrene School District participated in national Mix It Up at Lunch Day! One school in the district swapped a kindergarten teacher with a fifth-grade teacher for an hour to show kids how good it can be to step out of your comfort zone. Another school sent kids home with Mix It Up bracelets to remind them to mix it up every single day of the year.
Lynn English High School
Ginny Keenan, Lynn English High School’s Mix It Up organizer, said the school’s Mix It Up dinner was “Terrific!” The Mardi-Gras-themed event was attended by over 150 students and a dozen staff and administrators, who played icebreaker games to get to know their tablemates. The evening ended with new friends dancing the “Louisiana Shuffle” together.
St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School
Aaron Mar-entette, a student at St. Thomas Villanova Catholic High School, told the Windsor Star that Mix It Up at Lunch Day (or Kick the Clique, as the school called it this year) let him meet people he doesn’t normally hang out with. "It turned out there [were] a lot of people, they're all just the same. They just explain themselves differently."
Photo Credit: Tyler Brownbridge/Windsor Star
Wilbur Middle School
Wilbur Middle School students used conversation starters, music and anti-bullying videos to make their Mix It Up at Lunch Day festive. “Our hope is that when kids sit with other kids, someone they don’t know very well, they’ll feel more empathy for who that person is and what they might be going through,” Jackie Tabor, a health teacher at Wilbur Middle School told the Wichita Eagle.
Photo Credit: Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle
St. Francis High School
St. Francis High School has mixed it up for 10 years! This year, organizers placed games and handouts with thought-sparking questions on each table. Freshmen mixed it up with upper classmen, and some brave students even went into the teachers’ lounge and mixed it up with faculty and staff. One teacher reported that through lunch conversation, she and a student realized they both love chamber music. Students and teachers are excited about continuing to mix it up--not just on official Mix It Up at Lunch Day, but also throughout the year.
Photo Credit: Roark Johnson