Mix It Up Model Schools embrace respect and inclusiveness as core values—they “mix it up” all year long. These schools have done an exemplary job of organizing, publicizing and implementing Mix It Up at Lunch Day. By sharing their recipes for success, Model Schools are beacons for other schools striving for inclusiveness.
Mix It Up Model Schools have met these criteria:
- They hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day in 2015 (it did not have to fall on national Mix It Up at Lunch Day).
- They followed up with at least two additional programs or events on campus that sustained the spirit of Mix It Up at Lunch Day.
- They included different members of the school community (e.g., cafeteria staff, aides, administration, teachers and students) to organize Mix It Up at Lunch Day.
- They publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day with a variety of posters, announcements and other media.
- Their students and staff saw Mix It Up at Lunch Day as a success.
2014-2015 Mix It Up at Lunch Day Model Schools
San Mateo, California
Abbott Middle School is focused on maintaining a positive school climate, and its first Mix It Up at Lunch Day helped the school further its goals. Students were mixed up by birth month and read conversation starters from birthday cards. Because the event fell in October, staff provided Halloween-themed incentives to liven up the day and reward students for participating.
Hospitality and Tourism at Erasmus
Brooklyn, New York
AOHT has been mixing it up for eight years and celebrated for a whole week this year, with student leadership contributing to its success. In addition to lunchroom activities, students took Mix to their advisory classes and kept the spirit going with Respect for All Week.
ACCESS students were first-time participants—and their Mix event was a first-time success story! The eighth-grade leadership class planned and hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They publicized the event through posters and announcements in classrooms and paired it with No One Eats Alone Day. In the spirit of Mix, ACCESS plans to organize a Day of Silence with the Gay-Straight Alliance this spring.
Organized by a counselor and school resource officer, Animas Valley’s Mix It Up event encouraged students to discuss topics ranging from their favorite subject to what tolerance means to them. Afterward, a fifth-grade student commented, “If we did this all the time, we would have a million friends!”
The No Place for Hate Club took on major organizing responsibilities in Aragon’s Mix event, including engaging special needs and life skills students in conversations about how to address bullying and teasing at school. AMS continued the Mix spirit during No Name-Calling Week, when the entire student body was invited to a breakfast discussion of the book Wonder.
AMS believes feedback is what makes its Mix events so successful, and the school used last year’s feedback to plan this year’s event. After this year’s Mix day—highlighted by a DJ/emcee and Power of 100 (an anti-bullying club) members leading table discussions—Mix organizers had students write notes listing two things they liked and one that could be better. AMS is happy to report that the feedback for this year’s Mix event was great!
Neighborhood Charter School
What do zombies and Mix It Up at Lunch Day have in common? Everything, if you’re at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. ANCS planned five Mix events for the school year. To divide students up for the October event, students took a quiz about surviving a zombie attack and were given specifically colored glow necklaces and seated based on their points. They topped it all off with a dance party!
One Mix It Up event wasn’t enough for A.W. Hanmer! After mixing it up in the fall and surveying students for their feedback, the school hosted the event again with Random Acts of Kindness Week. This time, the designated seating for students was more intimate, and students were able to identify their assigned tables by completing emoji puzzles that matched table signs. Through figuring out the puzzles together, students developed leadership, communication and cooperation skills—and had fun, too!
Henderson, North Carolina
Every single first- through fifth-grade student participated in this year’s Valentine’s Day-themed Mix event. In fact, they had so much fun discussing favorite photos or objects they brought from home that many students didn’t even have to use the heart-shaped conversation starters at their tables.
Bedford, New York
“Hello!” was the theme for Mix It Up at BVES. The lunch soundtrack was made up of songs featuring the word hello in the lyrics, and students learned to say “hello” in several different languages. The kids were very enthusiastic—especially when lunch wrapped up with ice-cold popsicles!
Ben L. Smith High
Greensboro, North Carolina
The Every 1 Club at Smith High hosted a Mix event during school and after. At lunchtime, students were encouraged to sit at a table with members of the club and discuss ways social issues could be resolved at their school. After school, the eighth-graders at the feeder middle schools were invited to a Mix “Sundae Social,” where they enjoyed ice cream and talked about how to make their schools more inclusive.
This was the first year Bethany School mixed it up, and students immediately began asking when they could do it again. The kids learned about Mix in advance via posters, announcements and in their homerooms, so when the time came to sit with students from another grade, they were pumped and ready!
Blue Valley Middle
Students at Blue Valley got decked out for their Mix events: ugly sweaters in December and pink outfits for Valentine’s Day. Their cafeteria got a makeover too, courtesy of the Kindness Krew. The fanfare kept Blue Valley students focused on kindness and looking forward to their next Mix event. (The school does FOUR a year!)
Brockbank Junior High used Tootsie Pops to help students understand the layers of identity they each possess. This creative idea allowed for students to consider how they feel when someone judges them on external characteristics without knowing who they really are inside.
Students truly are the driving force behind Mix It Up at Calloway. They pick the music, help with the decorating and even write the conversation prompts for each table. At the end of lunch, each student writes his or her name on a strip of paper and enters a drawing for prizes. The strips then become links in a paper chain that adorns the school lobby for the rest of the year!
The entire K-12 student body mixed it up in CES’s first-ever Mix It Up at Lunch Day, sitting at tables according to birth month and dressing in mismatched clothes. It was such as success that they already have plans for the next event: having teachers teach different subjects for a day!
Cascia Hall Prep had a representative from the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice speak about bullying at their Mix It Up Day. As part of the full Mix-It-Up Week, club members invited students and teachers to participate in a Post-It note activity: They each wrote anonymous compliments about school community members on brightly-colored notes that were posted on the windows in the dining hall. The windows resembled a rainbow by the week’s end!
Clara B. Worth
Bayville, New Jersey
Clara B. Worth Elementary creatively mixed it up in bee-themed activities, inspired by the initial “B.” Each student received a ticket with a bee stamp and inspirational quotes about diversity, kindness and respect. The event was such as success that the school hosted another Mix It Up event, assigning students to different tables based on their birthday months.
Cooperstown, New York
Staff at Cooperstown invited special guests from the community to sit in on Mix It Up at Lunch Day and help break the ice. Mix was one of several fun spirit activities designed to get the students talking, laughing and engaged in the week’s activities. The students have responded so well that fifth- and sixth-graders now participate in a Mix It Up lunch once a month.
Crete Elementary was a sea of blue and gold on Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Students sported their spirit colors for the day itself, but they also celebrated the spirit of Mix in the days before and after. They attended a “Diversity is Cool” seminar, a dance celebrating the music of the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, and a mixed-grade basketball game. Crete teachers also incorporated Mix-themed activities in their classrooms all week long.
Organizers at Crookston extended their Mix It Up activities throughout the entire school week. In addition to facilitating lunch-time icebreakers, the staff showed videos about the benefits of meeting new people and had students write encouraging notes for each other. Everyone wore orange to promote awareness of bullying. Crookston organizers also started off each day with positive messages about kindness.
CMS Mixers played “Conversation Bingo” at their lunch tables, prompting students to share fun facts about themselves and to find out things they all had in common. Completed Bingo cards turned into admission tickets for a lunchtime dance event. The Mix spirit filled the months ahead with December of Courage (about standing for what’s right), a Kindness Challenge and Spread the Word to End the Word.
District of Columbia International School
Learning about the value of empathy during homeroom classes, including how it would better their school community, DCI students then spent their 25-minute break after homeroom meeting with students in other classes and conducting one-on-one interviews. Eighty-six percent of the students said they met new people, and 85 percent said they’d like to spend more time with those new friends.
The Doane Stuart School
Rensselaer, New York
DSS students and staff are committed to Mix It Up and have embraced it as a great way to continually improve their school climate. They held four Mix lunches for the middle school students this year, and after January’s lunch, students spent the rest of the afternoon in their table groups doing a workshop. Each group participated in activities that prompted them to examine stereotyping and exclusion, finishing the day by developing and sharing action plans for their middle school community.
Eastwood Knolls International School
El Paso, Texas
At Eastwood Knolls, a returning Mix Model School, students each wrote on strips of paper something they had in common with new friends at their lunch tables, and then wove the strips together into a paper chain. Students loved learning about each other and immediately began asking when they could mix it up again.
Webster Groves, Missouri
The fifth-graders at Edgar Road got their fellow students ready for the school’s first Mix It Up at Lunch Day by making posters to promote it and by going around to each classroom to explain what the day is all about. Even though this is the school’s first year participating, it was so great that the school has decided to do it at least once a month!
Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker
Hosted by the dean of students and the School Parent Organization, ESM’s Mix event featured a birthday party theme with balloons, and students in grades two through eight sat together by birth month. The next Mix It Up activity occurred in February and focused on the contributions of African Americans. At their tables, students discussed the character traits that led to these Americans’ success.
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
This year’s focus at the Episcopal Academy is to encourage students to speak up and be upstanders. Mix It Up at Lunch Day is part of several weeks of programming the staff designed to get students invested in working toward justice and inclusion for all. From musical performances to a Mix slogan contest to reinterpreting Alice in Wonderland through a Mix lens, EA students and staff actively promote kindness and fairness in all they do.
At Falcon Pass, Mix It Up at Lunch included rearranging the seating of not only classrooms and friend groups, but also grade levels. Students’ parents and the Clear Lake High School Student Council modeled how to initiate conversations and facilitated students in reading cards with jokes and riddles, which had been placed on the tables. The comedic cards spurred laughter throughout the lunchroom and the beginning of many new friendships.
Central Woodlands 5/6
This year’s theme was “You Are All Rock Stars”—complete with a red carpet and pretend microphones for students to use when chatting at their lunch tables. The organizers even created a movie of the event and shared it with the school community the next day. The one complaint about the event? Everyone wanted more time.
Korematsu Elementary School
The students at Korematsu Elementary mix it up monthly across grade levels—a system that is part of the school’s social justice structure. First, the whole population is divided into three groups, and then each group goes to three other classrooms, with each classroom hosting an activity meant to build inclusiveness.
Friends School Mullica Hill
Mullica Hill, New Jersey
Students at FSMH had a ball at Mix It Up at Lunch Day—literally! Students wrote conversation starters and taped them to beach balls, which they then bounced around the cafeteria. Whoever caught the ball answered the question. This first-ever Mix It Up was run by the eighth-graders in the school; they’ll pass the torch to the sixth- and seventh-graders for their next event.
Furneaux Elementary School
How did Furneaux’s first Mix event go? “Absolutely flawless,” said coordinator Christina Courts. With guidance lessons emphasizing acceptance and respect throughout the year, the students were more than ready for Mix It Up at Lunch Day and had so much fun that they begged their principal and counselors for another one.
Prescott Valley, Arizona
Not only did Glassford Hill students mix it up at lunch; they also combined it with Rachel’s Challenge! The students enjoyed it so much that the organizers decided to do another event in late spring.
G.W. Carver High
An ad campaign, led by Carver’s Heritage Panel, promoted Mix It Up with posters, and a student-created commercial aired during homeroom. Students from many different social circles and cultural backgrounds sat together for the first time during lunch. Based on all the positive feedback from students, the Heritage Panel is already planning another Mix event.
The Mix It Up spirit was infused into the curriculum in preparation for Greenville’s first Mix event. The language arts activity addressed cliques, and the math activity incorporated a survey regarding friendliness—those graphs were then placed in the cafeteria on Mix It Up at Lunch Day! Finally, students signed pledges, officially promising to refrain from and stand up to bullying.
Middle School South
The day before Groveport Madison’s first Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students used their language arts classes to draw or write about their hobbies, cultures and more on brick-shaped card stock. At the next day’s lunch, students discussed their bricks and closed the day by taping their bricks onto one big wall of diversity—representing every student in the school.
At Guerneville, where they’ve been mixing it up for years, the “big kids” (middle school students) are in charge! It’s so much a part of this K-8 school’s culture—they mix up monthly to celebrate everyone’s birthday for that month—that students actually grow up with the concept, creating excitement for the younger kids to one day lead their own Mix It Up day.
The Student Council, Gay-Straight Alliance and League of United Latin American Citizens teamed up to organize Gunnison’s Mix event. Not only were students seated randomly by taking numbers that corresponded with different tables, but also they switched tables during lunch to engage in discussion with even more students. The school followed Mix 2014 with a January 2015 event centered on cyberbullying.
Hackberry Hill Elementary School
Hackberry Hill is a longtime Mix participant and pulled off another great event, organized by the Bullying Prevention Committee, the school social worker and one representative from each classroom. Students sat next to someone new based on assigned sticker colors, and asked each other questions found on popsicle sticks.
Hamlin Middle School
At Hamlin, students mixed it up multiple times during lunch by switching seats with guidance from various prompts and with background music! Educators introduced Mix It Up to students with lessons on inclusion and empathy a few days beforehand. Students had fun with discussion starters, such as one to create secret handshakes, and staff immediately provided feedback that Mix was an empowering experience for everyone!
Hanawalt Elementary School
Des Moines, Iowa
Before the Mix It Up event, teachers at Hanawalt, a returning Model School, stressed to their students the importance of making new friends. During the event, Hanawalt students enjoyed having lunch with a new buddy from a different grade and playing together at recess. In addition to working on activities with their buddies, they got to walk around the neighborhood, too!
Livingston, New Jersey
Harrison Elementary uses Mix It Up at Lunch Day as an opportunity to talk about perseverance. The students collaborate with peers from other grades and work on projects together that emphasize grit and determination. They also read about heroes and heroines from history who stood tall in the face of obstacles. The lessons and the lunchtime fun serve to build confidence that lasts all year!
Harwood Union celebrated Mix It Up and Red Ribbon Week together, planning activities that were all about making positive choices. At lunch, the randomly seated students were given three tasks: Create a group name, discuss their favorite pizza toppings (available the next night at an after-school program) and use pipe cleaners to explain their favorite hobbies.
Highland School of
Gastonia, North Carolina
Highland School of Technology used Mix as an opportunity to emphasize kindness. After mixing students up with colored name tags that matched colored tablecloths, the Students Against Violence Everywhere and Interact Clubs set the stage for a Rachel’s Challenge speaker, who spoke with the students about making positive choices.
One special feature of Holicong’s Mix event was the live music provided by a singing, guitar-playing student during each lunch period. While students worked on a game at each table, teachers came to mingle with them and help out. The teachers were already Mix experts: They’d had some practice mixing it up at their last faculty meeting.
Holy Name Elementary School
A six-year No Place for Hate school, Holy Name engages in Mix-related activities year round. For National Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students got to know each other better while seated according to their zodiac signs. After lunch, each table competed with the others to be the first to complete a set of brain teasers.
Horizon Honors Elementary School
Mixing it up is simply part of the way they do things at Horizon! In addition to participating in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day each year, all students, kindergarten through sixth grade, regularly switch up their seating during learning blocks and during lunch. More important, the school educates students and families about the importance of meeting new people and encourages them to follow up with it at home.
Imagine School at
Coral Springs, Florida
One aspect of ISAB’s weeklong Mix celebration was a “dress as your time period” day. After students had formed groups based on different decades—and had done research on their respective eras—staff members determined which group did the best job by guessing which one represented what decade. In the end, all the groups gathered for a photo shoot and enjoyed sharing their research with their peers.
Celebrity guests greeted students at Cortez Park’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Miss Arizona and a local DJ, Julian, kicked off the day with some star-studded excitement, and the energy remained high for the rest of the event. Students participated in icebreaker activities and listened to guest speakers and seminars focused on self-confidence and treating others with respect and dignity. The day was so successful—and effective—that the school is planning to make it a tradition.
ICS mixed it up in a unique way this year: The seventh- and eighth-graders traveled to Sister Thea Bowman School in East St. Louis, Illinois, and were paired with buddies there. They spent the whole day playing music together, doing building experiments, making bracelets and much more. Meanwhile, ICS’ lower-grade students participated in a “Music Brings Us Together” event, creating their own instruments in groups and making beautiful music together.
Young Men's Leadership Academy
Ivy Prep has seen a decrease in bullying among students who have participated in their Mix It Up at Lunch Day events, and the school’s Mix coordinator reports a more community-like atmosphere in her own classroom. The school has coupled Mix with Random Acts of Kindness, a Shout-Out Board and Target Time, during which students play board games and have breakfast with new friends.
Jackson Elementary planned Mix It Up around the theme “One Team, One Dream” this year. Staff, students and parents wore sports gear and sat at one of six different sports-themed tables. Former Chicago Bears player Anthony Oakley even stopped in for a surprise visit, during which he encouraged students to be kind and make new friends and even gave autographs to all 400 students! One student expressed, “We all truly felt like a team!”
John Rolfe Middle
With the theme “Break down barriers, be a lifesaver!” JRMS students enjoyed chatting with their tablemates, which included teachers and counselors. One thing they chatted about was the "inside/outside” contest, when six students dressed up in random clothing from a box, demonstrating the importance of choosing friends based on their hearts instead of outward appearance.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Student Council members and volunteers from all grade levels spent over a month planning Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Each grade level had a different student-selected theme, and everyone at the school enjoyed music from a DJ while wearing their “mixed up” outfits. Students with the wackiest outfits and most enthusiasic participation walked away with new friends and prizes!
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Mix It Up is led by students in the Peaceful Environment at Kenston program. These student ambassadors make sure everyone has someone to talk to at lunch and recess. They also run a weekly lunch group for students with social challenges. The PEAK team hung posters and made daily announcements to get the student body in the “Mix mood.” Participating students reported that the day was a success and felt they had built on the foundation laid during earlier Mix events.
Kent Place School
Summit, New Jersey
Now here’s a fun, creative way to mix it up: Donna Ray, Kent Place’s Mix coordinator, created “Triplet Groups” to sit together at lunch—three groups per table, with each group composed of a sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grader. Not only that, but each group was seated according to something they had in common (same birth month, had a sibling who also attended the school, had the same English teacher at some point), and students had to figure out what they had in common. They raved about it!
Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy VI
Queens, New York
This academy mixed it up over three days in February, coinciding with the NYC Department of Education’s month-long theme “Respect for All.” Knowledge and Power students participated in team-building, poster-making and other peer-based activities that reflect their school’s yearlong emphasis on bullying prevention.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid Elementary made its Mix It Up at Lunch Day sparkle with a gemstone theme! Each student was given a gemstone bracelet and then asked to find a table decorated with a matching stone. Even the conversation starters were gem-themed. A committee of the school’s fifth-graders helped plan the day, and it was so successful that they’ve already started thinking about the theme for next year.
Live Oak Elementary
San Ramon, California
The organizers of Live Oak’s Mix It Up event know it was a hit because students wrote essays about their experiences afterward. Students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to sit with peers from other classes and got to have more Mix fun during Words Matter Week and Kindness Matters Week.
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Student character-education leaders were the driving force behind Mix It Up at LMS. They planned a rainbow theme for the event and invited all students to dress in bright colors to create a human rainbow. Students watched a slideshow about examples of tolerance from around the world. They also created paper “bricks” adorned with inspiring symbols to assemble a “wall of tolerance” that stands in the cafeteria today!
Every day is Mix It Up at Lunch Day at Lowell Elementary. How? Lowell students alternate who sits at a “buddy table” where special needs students are typically seated, and teachers regularly speak with students about the benefits of getting to know the school’s diverse population.
Madison, New Jersey
A spirit of unification filled Madison Junior School on Mix It Up at Lunch Day! Friendship songs were played at each grade-level lunch. Conflict Resolution Team members circled the lunchroom and asked students questions about showing respect, stopping bullying and making friends.
Manassas Park Middle School
Manassas Park, Virginia
MPMS students got to know each other at lunch by playing a dice game that was all about getting to know each other’s cultures and families. In preparation, students were prompted to think about where their families were from and what they could share to represent their cultural heritage: performances, artwork and more! That evening, more culture was shared during Multicultural Night.
Martha's Vineyard Regional
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
MVRHS worked with the students in the Brazilian History & Culture class to create their Mix It Up at Lunch event: The Brazilian American Friendship Lunch. The school used Mix to address specific issues of bias toward students of Brazilian heritage. The lunch, the school’s fourth, led to important discussions about stereotypes and misperceptions and is contributing to a more unified school community.
Mary E. Roberts Elementary
Moorestown, New Jersey
Mix It Up at Lunch Day events have become a tradition at Roberts Elementary. The school hosts three to four Mix days each school year. A favorite Mix tradition among Roberts students is hosting guests who serve the community and the country. They’ve had representatives from the Moorestown Board of Education and the military come and mix it up with students!
Organizers at Mater Christi planned Mix It Up at Lunch Day activities that paired older and younger kids, creating “buddy” teams. Students received index cards with prompts that allowed them to learn about their new friends. After lunch, the students shared what they learned with their larger classes. The staff reports that students enjoyed the day so much they’ve been asking for more opportunities to “buddy up”!
Melvin H. Kreps
East Windsor, New Jersey
Members of Kreps Middle School’s Diversity Club helped keep the conversation lively during Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Students signed up to participate, the organizers carefully “mixed them up” based on their interests, and the Diversity Club members provided conversation starters to help participants feel welcome and comfortable. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and each child left with a parting gift from the vice principal!
Midwest City High
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Coordinated by sociology students, Midwest City’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day involved students inviting new friends to sit with them at lunch or even taking them out to lunch off campus. Even teachers are mixing it up, with one teacher group doing it once a month. Next on the school’s Mix agenda is an anti-bullying week.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
MGES teachers prepped their students for the big day by discussing with them the value of diversity and helping them decide how to mix up their seating at lunch. The big day was such a hit that students asked to do it again, and they did—this time at recess to celebrate National School Counseling Week.
Nashoba Brooks School incorporates Mix It Up into its programming all year: Every Wednesday is Mix day! Not only do students get random seat assignments; they engage in a facilitated conversation about topics relevant to their school or community. The kids love it, and the faculty facilitators get to know their students better through the conversations.
Second-time Mix Model School and weekly Mixer, Namaste and its surrounding community love to mix it up as often as possible. For example, Namaste held a Mix It Up art event as part of the Great Kindness Challenge, during which various classrooms colored mandalas together and vowed to share random acts of kindness. They also invited parents and families to an annual Peace Day party, where they participated in singing chants and dancing with students!
North Side Middle
North Side’s Move 2 Stand Club assigns students to their lunch tables using stickers. Due to popular demand, the school has been mixing it up monthly since their first event on National Mix It Up at Lunch Day 2014.
Instead of wearing the NCCS uniform, students mixed it up in numbered jerseys, illustrating that “everyone counts,” and they enjoyed lunching with students from different grades. Mix-related ideals are also part of the school’s culture, with students making a daily "respect" pledge in homeroom and engaging in "respect everyone" activities during Catholic Schools Week.
Students at Northley exercised their creativity during a “Fall into Friendship”-themed Mix. They each partnered with someone they didn’t know well and completed acrostic poems based on their partner's name. For each letter, they wrote something complimentary about the other person, which made everyone feel great. The leaves were hung on "trees" in the school for everyone to see and enjoy.
Regional Educational Programs
Housing three school districts and a regional school for special education, Northwestern Regional Educational Programs hosted its first Mix It Up Day this year! Students sat at new tables based on Jolly Rancher flavors and played “Would You Rather,” facilitated by teachers and conversation starters, to learn more about each other.
North Little Rock, Arkansas
A Model School veteran, Northwood Middle mixed it up at lunch—and on the playground! Organizers paired the event with No Bully Day and reported that an excellent time was had by all. Students are already looking forward to another event.
This is the Phillips Academy’s second year mixing it up and second year as a Model School. The school’s taken Mix a step further by holding weekly restorative justice circles, working in small groups and switching group members each time. These circles allow for community building and identifying values, resulting in powerful discussions about race, social injustice and positively affecting the community.
Pike County High
PCHS invited international students from nearby Troy University to share customs and experiences from their home countries. In English classes following the event, students wrote reflective essays about what they learned from their tablemates, revealing that students often don’t know why they avoid some of their peers. Organizers are certain that they learned a great deal about appreciating differences.
Porter Ridge Middle
Indian Trail, North Carolina
Porter Ridge creatively managed six lunch waves with 1,500 students! Organizers printed Teaching Tolerance’s free Mix posters and placed conversation starters on each table, and students reported—through a post-event survey—that they enjoyed the new conversations. Porter Ridge also paired Mix with Random Acts of Kindness Week, during which students created “a paper kindness chain with the acts of kindness they had demonstrated over the week.”
Red Lion Area
Junior High School
Red Lion, Pennsylvania
The Red Lions dedicated three days to diversity awareness and tolerance through Mix events. On the first day, they held a Ticket Mix It Up Day, when all the students, faculty and staff received raffle ticket numbers that matched someone else’s. Those who found their matches got prizes. The events correlated with the School-wide Positive Behavior Support Program, an initiative that teaches students to show respect for everyone.
Reno Valley Middle
At Reno Valley, Mix It Up at Lunch Day was coordinated by the art students. They hosted an ugly sweater contest, painted a “Call Me On It” mural to promote upstanding against bullying, and created posters and banners to keep the Mix spirit alive. The students even updated the school’s Facebook page with Mix-related art!
Jr./Sr. High School
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
At Ridgefield Park, students were in charge of Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Hosting the event as part of an ongoing project, the high school’s child development class made announcements and designed advertisements, seated students in the cafeteria, created “Group Effort” activities for each table, and designed other carnival-style games centered on themes of identity, diversity and tolerance. Students had a blast!
Rocky River Middle
Rocky River, Ohio
Rocky River has added a number of Mix It Up events to its calendar. In addition to Mix, RRMS tried "Tuesday is Grooves-Day" at lunch, when music was played at each lunch table, and one or two dancers from each table were nominated to dance on stage. The school also hosted Thankful Thursday, when students showed appreciation to school staff and parents, and High Five Friday, when students greeted each other with high fives.
The Roeper School
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The Student Diversity Advisory Committee at Roeper, a Pre-K-12 school, organized Mix It Up for the second time this year. Guided by student facilitators who explained the purpose and history of Mix, the Lower School students changed things up at lunch and recess, while the Middle and Upper Schools did so at an ice cream social. Inspired by Mix activities, Roeper is also hosting a Diversity Day celebration in which students will discuss diversity as it relates to race, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation.
Royal Oak Middle School
The student planners at Royal Oak used data to drive their Mix planning: They conducted a survey to investigate how their peers perceived cliques in their school. In addition to a successful lunchroom Mix It Up, the Associated Student Body leaders began planning a daily version of Mix during which peers gather in different classrooms over lunch to play games, participate in group activities and take advantage of an alternative space in which to interact with other students.
Sacred Heart School
Sacred Heart’s anti-bullying club, Stand Up and Speak Out, took the lead in facilitating this year’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day by escorting students to their lunch tables to make sure they sat with someone new. The Student Council joined in by providing snacks representing different cultures, and the school kept up the spirit by holding activities for No Name-Calling Week and Disability Awareness Month.
Syracuse, New York
Students at SASCS-Middle spent their Mix It Up lunch period talking about how to increase their own tolerance and appreciation for differences within their school and in their communities. Noting that social divides often fall along racial lines at SASCS, the staff encouraged students from different identity groups to sit together. The outcome, they report, is the students are “more eager to engage in such discussions and really going beyond their comfort level to help their peers.”
Seth Lewelling Elementary School
At Seth Lewelling, Self Managers (teacher-recommended student leaders) played a big role in Mix It Up! The Self Managers handed out colored cards that matched balloons at different tables so that students could find new seats and start learning about each other. The students said they wanted to mix it up once a month!
Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
Mix It Up at Lunch Day at Akoyikoyi truly was a multicultural affair: Students from Palau, Marshall Islands, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Yap, Korea and the Philippines participated, as well as staff from Chuuk, the United States and Australia. The day was focused on understanding and appreciation of diverse people, histories and cultures. Local high school students added to the fun by performing traditional dances and music and presenting about food and customs from their respective islands.
A three-time Mix It Up participant, Snead State hosted this year’s event to facilitate introductions among members of the Pan Latino Student Organization and their guests. Inspired by an activity in which students learned about each other’s cultures through Q&A, organization members continued to mix it up by giving a presentation during Hispanic Heritage Month and by attending a Día de los Muertos event.
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Student organizers worked hard to plan SMS’ Mix event—developing objectives, coordinating the date with their principal, enlisting peers to act as facilitators, training the facilitators, creating seating charts and conversation starters, and working with the media specialist to produce promotional commercials. Whew!
With participation from several arts magnet programs at South Mountain, the Mix It Up event included music, an interpretative dance performance, stickers and buttons declaring “No Hate” and “I Am Me.” In the planning stages, student leaders suggested activities that would be the most successful with students. As a result, students wrote and passed kind notes to other students outside of their regular social groups.
A longtime Mixer, Tabeetha School used a different tactic to organize each teacher-led group of students this year: Students, who speak a total of 15 different languages, found their assigned groups via popsicle-stick colors. They then went outside to introduce themselves, read picture books in English, Hebrew and Arabic, and participated in other fun activities.
This is Tri-Cities Prep’s first year mixing it up, but they’ve been doing it once a month since they got started. Sometimes discussions are facilitated at each table; other times, there’s no structure at all. During one memorable event, students played “Two Truths and a Lie,” and table leaders passed out Otter Pops as a fun treat.
Not only was the school administration and counseling staff involved in Tritt Elementary’s Mix It Up, but the event also benefited from the involvement of the Parent-Teacher Association. This was Tritt’s first Mix It Up event, and it was so successful they’re planning on doing one every quarter. The theme for their Valentine’s Day Mix event? “Showing Love for All.”
St. Louis, Missouri
Having taken “color” personality tests during their character education classes, Truman students set off at lunch to sit with others who shared their personality traits, realizing they had more in common with some of their peers than they may have thought. The Student Council members even had the opportunity to share their success at the Missouri Student Council Convention.
Long Beach, California
In preparation for Mix It Up, students at Tucker learned about diversity with lessons from the Teaching Tolerance website. Organizers invited participants from the school, district and community. In addition to eating lunch together during the event, students and guests received inspirational bracelets, played basketball and handball, and danced to Stevie Wonder, Cat Stevens and the Gypsy Kings. In the process, students shared about themselves, learned about others and laughed a lot!
Tumwater Hill Elementary School
Tumwater Hill pulled off its first (Halloween-themed!) Mix It Up at Lunch Day this year. Teachers prepped students with Mix-related classroom activities during the week preceding the event and added another Mix Day to the spring agenda.
Warhill High School
Warhill High had a week’s worth of anti-bullying events leading up to Mix: Students wore boots one day to “stomp out” bullying and wore jerseys another day to “team up” against it. Student leaders were integral to the events’ success, with the school’s L.A.B.—Lions Against Bullying—members leading table discussions and the Student Government Association mixing students up with a version of musical chairs.
White Plains Middle School – Eastview
White Plains, New York
Student organizers chose a Halloween theme for White Plains’ Mix It Up event, with questionnaires on each table covering topics like costumes, candy and scary books and movies. In addition to Mix, the school participates in No Name-Calling Week each year and engages in monthly activities hosted by the anti-bullying club.
Windsor Middle School
Windsor, New York
The Student Council planned, organized and facilitated Windsor’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day, including seating a Student Council member at each table to guide the activities—a strategy that made the day particularly successful. Sixth-grade members even facilitated discussions at the eighth-grade tables!
Teachers were integral to Winnebago Middle’s Mix event: Students competed to win a trivia contest that was all about the teachers! Working in groups, students tried to match teachers’ names with a fun, silly fact. Not only did this activity foster new friendships among students, but it also helped build rapport between adults and the kids.
East Meadow, New York
Sixth- and seventh-graders at Woodland Middle went on a “Journey to a New Friendship” during Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They moved through a series of “destination” stations and worked on craft projects specific to various geographical regions. The eighth-grade students participated in team-building activities throughout the day, including “full body” rock-paper-scissors competitions! All students enjoyed spirit days during Mix week, focusing on prevention of bullying and name-calling.