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.
2015-2016 Mix It Up at Lunch Day Model Schools
The Akoyikoyi School hosted its fourth Mix It Up event, and it was a true success! A panel of high school students from Chuuk, Pohnpei, Yap, Palau, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Korea and Kiribati were invited to speak before Akoyikoyi’s elementary students, families and educators. These high school students shared favorite things in their countries, exposing Akoyikoyi students to cultural similarities and differences. Then panelists and the audience broke up into small groups to continue the conversation, focused on the importance of legends and folktales in their respective cultures.
Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School
One reason to have a group of student planners for Mix? A student-made music playlist is sure to please! The eighth-grade Mix It Up Committee met weekly to plan this year’s event, which was so successful that students immediately began asking about the next one. They’ve since had another and added the Great Kindness Challenge to the list of activities bringing their school together.
Bedford Village Elementary School
Bedford, New York
The organizers at Bedford Elementary went the extra mile to make sure the cafeteria felt like a special place on Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They blew up balloons, played music and used colorcoding to assign kids to their mixed-up tables. Some students reported that the day led to lasting friendships with peers they otherwise would never have gotten to know.
Bayside, New York
BELL’s first-ever Mix It Up at Lunch Day proved to be a tremendous success! The event focused on fighting social isolation. Students made a film for the event, and the school watched it on the day of the event. At lunchtime, students were randomly assigned to small groups, where they were given student-produced conversation starters.
Bellamy Middle School
Mix is so popular at Bellamy Middle School that students ask to do it each week! They used dancing and a colorful decoration environment to get students in the mood. As everyone entered the cafeteria they saw colored balloons and conversation starters at each table. Staff, including cafeteria workers and GSA members, wore rainbow colors. The school store was open to sell items, music was playing and members of the GSA and teachers helped students mingle.
Blackstone Valley Prep Elementary School 2
Cumberland, Rhode Island
Appreciation for diversity is an important goal at Blackstone Valley, and the school’s commitment showed through in its Mix It Up at Lunch event. Teachers had introduced the concept in the school’s daily “community circle” time. After the event, students had the chance to reflect, and faculty members report that the event has helped to foster new friendships and strengthen the school’s overall culture. A big success!
Breakthrough Magnet School
Peace Jam, a student-led organization at Breakthrough Magnet School, coordinated Mix It Up at Lunch Day! Established to promote kindness and empathy to stop bullying, Peace Jam prepared students for the event by visiting each homeroom and organizing the activities. They decorated the lunch area, created conversation starters and will encourage students to mix it up on a regular basis.
Brighton High School
Rochester, New York
Brighton’s Mix organizers decided they wanted to spice up their event this year, so they organized a “Peanut Butter and Jam Slam”—a food drive and sandwich-making extravaganza that involved students and staff. One organizer says, “We had students making sandwiches and talking to other students that they never would have said more than ‘Hello’ to in passing.”
The Canterbury Episcopal School
Canterbury’s Mix organizers rearranged the seating at lunch by handing out Life Saver candies that corresponded with new table assignments. Students mixed up their clothes, too, by wearing all mismatched outfits for the event. By the end of the activities, they were already asking about next year’s Mix day!
Cascade Middle School
Cascade Middle School’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day occurred right after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and emphasized the importance of tolerance. Students brainstormed questions to ask one another at lunch, and eighth-grade Leadership students facilitated the conversations sparked by the prompts. Parents also participated and joined in the festivities.
Cascia Hall Preparatory School
One day wasn’t enough for students at Cascia, who have extended Mix It Up into a weeklong affair. Students in the school’s Cascia Hall Acceptance and Inclusion Club organized a sticky-note drive, during which students complimented each other on sticky notes and placed them on walls and windows throughout the school. In addition to the lunchtime event, the week’s activities also featured an anti-bullying guest speaker and an outdoor picnic.
Chartiers Valley Middle School
Students may have been wary about their first Mix It Up at Lunch Day, but they found out quickly that their anxieties were all for naught! With music blasting and students and teachers doing the Whip and the Nae Nae, students got to grab the mic to introduce their new friends. The day’s festivities were such a hit that CVMS has decided to do it every quarter!
Churchill Elementary School
Using activities from Teaching Tolerance in their classrooms, teachers at Churchill prepared their students for Mix It Up at Lunch Day. In one activity, Kings and Aces, students were each given a playing card and told to find a partner to create the highest combined number. The class then discussed the metaphor of how it felt to be a king, versus how it felt to be an ace. By the time the big day arrived, students had plenty to talk about.
Cole Middle School
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
An awe-inspiring 11-year Mix It Up participant, Cole Middle School used advisory activities to teach about diversity all month long and ended the unit with Mix It Up at Lunch Day. During their lunchtime event, students sat with new friends and talked about their favorite jokes and hobbies. They also had the opportunity to win prizes!
Colorado River Collegiate Academy
Students at Colorado River Collegiate Academy mixed it up twice this year, with a third event planned for the spring. Organizers were so pumped about it that, to promote the second event, the coordinator wrote a new rendition of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” and sang it over morning announcements! This spring, students will work together to complete 1,000 random acts of kindness.
Crete Elementary School
The theme for Crete’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day was “Give Peace a Chance.” Leading up to the day, students wrote reflections on what peace feels like and posted their writing together in the shape of a giant dove. On the big day, students were assigned to tables corresponding with each letter in the word peace. They wore tie-dye and listened to music with lyrics about peace and love—their own Mix It Up Woodstock!
Cudahy Middle School
CMS, a seven-year mixer and two-time Model School, truly has mixing it up down to a science with a year full of events and activities that promote kindness, empathy and respect. Bullying Awareness Month in October, Courage Month in December, Respectful Language Month in March and Celebrate Uniqueness in April—just a few ways this school is nurturing its future leaders!
Del Norte High School
Albuquerque, New Mexico
A first-time Mix Model School, Del Norte High School had Real Talk, an open forum for students to discuss social justice topics, at their Mix It Up at Lunch event. Used first by the Black Student Union to talk about topics like the n-word and the Confederate flag, Real Talk was a success with students at lunch, too.
Denison K-8 School
Once Denison held its first Mix It Up event last October, it could not be stopped. Organizers hosted another event in February and kept the vibe going with an additional anti-bullying program. And here’s a bonus: A team of student leaders made sure everything went off without a hitch!
DePere Middle School
At DePere Middle School, homeroom time was used to make posters with inspirational words and statements. Student leaders modeled the spirit of Mix by holding up their signs while the song "Be Brave" played in the background. The school then produced a video, featuring students and teachers. Everyone watched the video over lunch, filling the room with a positive, friendly vibe.
Eastwood Knolls International
El Paso, Texas
Eastwood Knolls has been celebrating Mix It Up at Lunch Day for a couple of years now, and the students look forward to it tremendously. This year, the school combined its Mix It Up at Lunch Day with Drug-Free Week, calling the event “Mix With Friends, Not Drugs!” Students were given strips of paper reading, “I am unique because ____.” In the end, the strips became links in a massive paper chain.
El Campo Middle School
El Campo, Texas
Finding someone with your birthday month is always fun and that’s how this school decided to seat everyone for their Mixt It Up day. The Interact Club helped students to their birthday table and got the conversation started. After the event all the balloons were taken to the local nursing home and given to residents.
Episcopal Academy Middle School
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania
Episcopal Academy Middle School broke down barriers this year with the theme: “You don’t know me, until you know me.” They focused on defying labels and helping students see below the surface of others. They also hosted a school-wide Mix It Up Day Slogan Contest. On Mix It Up Day, students, faculty and maintenance and cafeteria staff wore colorful T-shirts inspired by the winning slogans!
Faubion Elementary School
Cedar Park, Texas
At Faubion Elementary, counselors chose Be a HERO (Help, Encourage and Respect Others) as the Mix It Up theme, which students used to decorate promotional posters before the event. During lunch, students sat at tables with superhero themes, and students came to school dressed as superheroes—capes included!
Fowler Middle School
Students at Fowler Middle School participated in surveys and lessons about mixing it up before and after the event to emphasize its goals. At lunch, students received tickets that pointed them toward their new tables, where they played icebreaker games and listened to party music. Each ticket also had one letter on the back, and students had to find others with the letters to spell “kindness.” The fastest three teams got prizes!
Gill St. Bernard’s School
Gladstone, New Jersey
Students took charge at Gill St. Bernard’s School in New Jersey. They randomly assigned groups of fifth- and seventh-graders together and groups of sixth- and eighth-graders together. These student leaders also planned an interactive activity at their lunch tables—solving logic puzzles for goody bags—to help break the ice. And next time, they want to be even more involved!
Glenridge Elementary School
Glenridge has decided to mix it up monthly with all students K-5 and with the fifth-graders leading the activities, which promote leadership, character, community and service. One way that the school extends the unified spirit is to host off-site “school play dates,” allowing for quality time with students’ families.
Glynn Academy Counselors and CIS of Glynn County have been mixing it up for nearly a decade, and this year was arguably the most fun. They combined National Mix It Up Day and a movement called CompassionIt. They did Zumba during all three lunches!
Guadalupe Elementary School
Parents and student council members were a big part of facilitating Guadalupe’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They helped break the ice with conversation starters like “Would You Rather?” and shared jokes collected from all the participating students. Says one organizer, “When some of the students chose to play with their new friends at recess after Mix It Up at Lunch, I knew it was a success.”
Mix It Up has become an internal part of Guerneville’s school climate because they host an event every month! On a banner they write birthday greetings to all the kids who had birthdays that month. The banners are all hung in the gym. In addition, sixth- to eighth-graders host outdoor games and activities for the younger kids. Guerneville also celebrates No Name Calling Week and is planning to participate in the Day of Silence and a poetry slam in April.
Hall-Dale Elementary School
Hall-Dale Elementary’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day was supported by Key Club members from a local high school. The high schoolers kept the younger kids engaged with discussion prompts—like “Who’s your favorite Harry Potter character?”—and facilitated conversations that helped participants discover their commonalities. The day concluded with an exciting raffle drawing!
Harrison Elementary School
Livingston, New Jersey
The students of Harrison used their Mix It Up time to bring happiness to those in need. After engaging in some fun icebreakers (including answering the question “Would you rather use ketchup or chocolate sauce to cover your food?”) they divvied up crayons and designed pictures for the “Color a Smile” program. The happy drawings will be distributed to senior citizens, troops stationed abroad and others in need of a smile.
Hauppauge Middle School
Hauppauge, New York
The student facilitators at Hauppauge Middle School made presentations during the advisory period to prep their fellow students for all the fun they’d have at Mix It Up at Lunch Day. On the big day, the lunchroom was abuzz with Mad Libs, music, balloons and a contest to see who could name all their new lunch friends the fastest!
At Iles, students Mix It Up with students from neighboring schools—the middle school students link up with nearby Washington Middle school, and the first- through fifth-graders hangout with their peers at Matheny-Withrow. Special student representatives are randomly selected from each school. The schools arrange transportation, tours and activities. And during the lunch hour, the entire school joins in to mix it up with the visiting students!
Imagine School at Evening Rose
At Evening Rose, student ambassadors took the lead on this year’s Mix It Up festivities. Students were grouped by different candy types. Each table was assigned a host, and facilitators were enlisted to walk around the room and help keep the conversations going. The event culminated with a student-led game show!
Imagine Schools Cortez Park
Imagine Cortez Park hosted its second annual Mix event with lots of originality! K-3 students learned about issues of bullying and acceptance and mixed it up at lunch. Students in grades 4-8 listened to guest talks on social media safety and cyberbullying, and they participated in activities like walking through a “selfie room” and writing positive, affirming Post-It notes about the people in the selfies. The day highlighted that students are not alone in their struggles.
Immaculate Conception School
At Immaculate Conception, mixing up isn’t just about lunch. Students teamed up with neighboring schools for a day of activities designed to get students learning about each other while working together. The older students took part in a TeamQuest activity in which they were placed in groups of different grade levels and schools to take part in engineering and trivia events.
Horizon Honors Elementary School
Horizons Elementary used its student council members to ask fun questions and act as facilitators for Mix It Up Day. Students bring board games from home to play while eating lunch. They don’t let the Mix spirit end at lunch, however. They hold service projects for students that include the values of their school, Mix It Up and No Place for Hate. Horizon also participates in the Great Kindness Challenge, Random Acts of Kindness Week and National Pay it Forward Day.
Jackson Elementary School
JES’s Mix It Up at Lunch Day was all about school spirit—college spirit, that is! With the theme “Mix It Up: The College Edition,” students sat at tables according to different college pendants. Organizers kept the vibe going with entertainment from the local high school’s drum line and a visit from "Mr. Swatson," the mascot for the nearby Sugarland Skeeters, a pro baseball team.
JFK Middle School
Port Jefferson Station, New York
A nine-year Mix It Up veteran, JFK Middle was featured in the local newspaper, the Beacon Times. Participants began their day by viewing Teaching Tolerance’s film The Children’s March during an assembly to show students how they can “be the change.” Then students moved into the cafeteria for a speed-dating-style activity: Students sat across from a peer, introduced themselves, shook hands and conversed using discussion prompts, then moved to the next table!
John Muir Elementary School
To prepare for “Mix It Up Monday,” classrooms engaged in role-plays about introducing oneself to someone new, and students learned songs about the “recipe” for new friendships. They were clearly ready: The big event was such a hit that students regularly asked their supervisors if they could do it every Monday! To students’ delight, they mixed it up a second time.
Josephine C. Locke Elementary School
Seventh-grade students at Locke Elementary prepared for Mix with interdisciplinary language arts and technology units on the importance—and power—of learning someone else’s story. The event culminated with students sharing what kindness, understanding and diversity means to them on whiteboards. Students were also each given a strip of paper to write something interesting or special they learned about their Mix partner. Multicolored chains made out of these strips were hung outside the seventh-grade homerooms and the technology classroom!
Katherine Anne Porter School
The Mix spirit was so strong at Katherine Anne Porter School that they hosted two events this year and have two more in the works! Students had a great time playing Twister and Pandemic over lunch one day, and enjoyed the company (and cooking!) of families and teachers during event #2.
Kemps Landing/Old Donation School
Virginia Beach, Virginia
At Kemps Landing, students mixed it up through music and dance. Student volunteers planned the themes, activities and music for each grade, and the PTA hired a DJ to get everyone moving. Each grade level had its own theme and music, and each table had its own signature dance move. Students were encourage to dress up according to their grade’s theme.
Kingston Middle School
Students were highly involved in planning and promoting Mix It Up at Kingston Middle School. They made posters, gave inspirational speeches during lunch and even perused the Teaching Tolerance website for ideas used by other Model Schools. The result was a fun-filled day that included cup stacking, hula hopping and a “name that Halloween song” contest.
Lake Placid Elementary School
Lake Placid, New York
The Mix planning group met for eight weeks to discuss cliques in the cafeteria and why their school mixes it up. This year’s event was Halloween-themed, and everyone in the school participated. Students from all grades still speak with excitement about Mix—and recognize the importance of including others beyond Mix It Up Day. They’re also participating in a spring Mix It Up event. Way to go, Lake Placid Elementary School!
LaSalle Intermediate Academy
South Bend, Indiana
LaSalle mixes it up each month for their fifth-grade students. Each month has a different theme and activity. During one month in winter they used a tropical theme where students were given different tropical stickers and had to find the matching picture at a lunch cafe table.. On the back of each picture were conversation starters to help engage students in getting-to-know-you-type questions—the perfect way to warm up a cold day!
Leeds Middle School
Students at Leeds Middle School took the idea of “breaking down walls” to a new level. Before the event, students were each given a red construction paper “brick” and asked to anonymously write down a time when they’d experienced intolerance. The school’s counselors sorted the bricks into themes and built a wall, placing colored stickers on the back of each brick. On the big day, each student pulled a brick from the wall and sat according to the color of the sticker. The bricks led to some powerful lunch table conversation.
Live Oak Elementary School
San Ramon, California
Live Oak Elementary School hosted three Mix It Up at Lunch Days this school year, scheduled during Words Matter Week and Random Acts of Kindness Week. Students sat together according to their birth month and made new friends, building on the school’s ongoing efforts to promote kindness and inclusivity. You know a Mix event was fun-filled and a hit when you have students asking, “When is the next one?”
Lynn English High School
Twice a year, for five years, this school has mixed it up over a dinner. Students, seated randomly at tables of six, participated in a trivia game and a fun-filled limbo competition. With 200 students clapping and cheering each other on, these dinner activities were a hit! Afterwards, several students asked when they can plan the next Mix dinner.
Mabel Hoggard Elementary
Las Vegas, Nevada
Mabel Hoggard Elementary is not only a first time Mix Model School, but also a first time ever Mix It Up at Lunch Day participant! Students, teachers, cafeteria staff, administrators and parents all pitched into their event. Students were really engaged in a “Would You Rather” activity. They even plan to extend the Mix spirit with Peace Week and No Name Calling Week.
Madison Consolidated Junior High School
Mix It Up at Lunch at Madison came complete with conversation starters, music, Tootsie Pops and a live radio broadcast from the cafeteria. Peer counselors helped students to get the conversations going at the tables. Students and faculty work hard to create an environment of friendship and acceptance all year in events such as “free compliments” giveaways.
Manassas Park Middle School
Manassas Park, Virginia
At Manassas Park, organizers tied the Mix event to a multicultural-night celebration. Students played a “get to know you” game to prepare for the evening: They rolled dice and answered one of six questions related to their unique cultural background, ethnicity and family traditions. The activity created a bridge between students of different backgrounds. Students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the Mix event and requested to do it more than once a year.
Mary E. Roberts Elementary School
Moorestown, New Jersey
The theme of Mary E. Roberts Elementary’s mix event was celebrating the school mascot Robbie the Heart’s birthday. The event emphasized to students that they’re part of one school family, and it honored students’ linguistic and cultural diversity. It also tied in the themes of National Red Ribbon Week and New Jersey’s Week of Respect and Week of Anti-Violence in Schools. There was so much positive energy for Mix It Up that it was hard to round up students to finish their lunches and go to recess.
Mater Christi School
At Mater Christi School, teachers discussed the Mix It Up mission from Teaching Tolerance magazine to prep students for the fun to come, and students gave input about the day’s events to their guidance counselor in Student Council meetings. Mixing it up all day with their Mass Buddies, students went to mass, played games and read together, with smiles all around! Students are going to continue to mix with their Mass Buddies throughout the year.
Morris Grove Elementary School
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
In the past, Morris Grove classroom teachers mixed up their classes. This time around, entire grade levels mixed it up! Leading up to the event, there was a lot of buzz and excitement. Fifth-grade students even made Mix-It-Up bracelets. Teachers liked the event so much they began mixing it up in classrooms, at recess and at lunch on other days. The Mix spirit certainly filled the school!
MS 104 Simon Baruch
New York, New York
MS 104 Simon Branch council members acted as facilitators for activities and questions in Mix It Up events this year. For each activity they participated in, students wrote answers to thought-provoking questions such as: What does Respect for All mean to you? Why is acceptance important? What is one way you could help put a stop to bullying?
Nashoba Brooks School
Nashoba Brooks, which mixes it up 20 to 30 times each school year, added a couple of twists to the mix this year: Students from all grades generated the discussion questions, and the oldest students took turns leading the discussions on a rotating basis. Up next? Even more conversation prompts, like riddles for each table to solve as a team.
Northley Middle School
Northley Middle School used a sports theme for Mix It Up day this year. They called it TEAM DAY, and students sat and ate lunch with people “not on [their] team,” meaning people they normally don’t sit with. Students wore sports attire. They brought over student athletes and a mascot from a neighboring high school to lead activities and really jam up the fun! They are also participating in the Million T-Shirt March Against Bullying and our Positive Behavior Support Program.
North Side Middle School
Counselors, cafeteria staff and other staff helped make Mix It Up at Lunch Day possible at North Side Middle School! They assigned students new seats at lunch, so that everyone was sitting with someone they hadn’t met before. Afterward, students reported back that the event was a success! They also participated in No Name Calling Week.
Northwestern Regional Educational Programs
Students at Northwestern kicked off their Mix event with a game of “categories” that challenged their brains—and their competitive spirits! The students went on to talk about their favorite shows, cereals and candy, discovering what they had in common while learning and appreciating how they are different.
Petaluma Junior High School
All hands were on deck for Mix It Up at Petaluma: Parents, librarians, cafeteria staff and even board members and the superintendent joined the excitement! At lunch, students received index cards with one of 10 images, and they had to find and form a group of others with the same image. They wrote something special about themselves on their card, drew random cards from their group and guessed who had written each neat fact. Afterward, everyone got friendship bracelets in the school’s colors.
Pine Valley Central School
South Dayton, New York
This year’s lunch marked Pine Valley’s 10th anniversary of Mix It Up! Sixth-grade Creating a Safer School mentors facilitated conversations and an activity at the mixed up tables. Students drew pictures of how to be a bucket-filler, based on their reading of How Full is Your Bucket, and decorated the hallway with their drawings. Pine Valley practices filling buckets, or saying kind things, to promote positive interactions and eradicate bullying.
Ravenscroft Middle School
Raleigh, North Carolina
After the entire Ravenscroft student body—comprised of grades pre-K through 12—assembled for a “Gathering of Thanks” that morning, the middle schoolers kept the party going at lunchtime. Not only did they enjoy sitting with students from different grades, but also they enjoyed talking with faculty they don’t usually get to engage with.
Redmond Proficiency Academy
Mix It Up at Redmond Proficiency Academy was part of a month-long focus on the motto, "I am RPA. We are one." Students discussed themes, such as bullying, random acts of kindness and making new friends and participated in related activities. On the big day, after mixing it up over lunch, students debriefed the event. One student said, “I realized that there are other people that are interesting to talk to.” Redmond continues to promote respect and inclusivity; the school planned a Mix activity—a scavenger hunt!—for the spring.
Rincon Middle School
Rincon used a "What's Your Genius?" theme for its Mix event designed to bring together students with common interests. The week before Mix, they participated in Kindness Week in which students were challenged to do a series of kind acts. Rincon kept the party going with “Genius Day,” and forums on anti-bullying, anti-prejudice and “Welcome to the 6th grade.”
Dr. Robert H. Brown Middle School
This middle school had fall and spring Mix event. For both, school counselors worked with student leaders to create flyers and posters promoting social inclusion and Mix. Student leaders promoted the event in their homerooms and also made a PSA video about ending social exclusion. As students entered the cafeteria on Mix It Up at Lunch Day, they received seating-assignment stickers with clever phrases like, “Proud to be 1 in a ‘Minion.’” Now, that’s creative!
Rocky River Middle School
Rocky River, Ohio
Rocky River Middle School's Be the Change group organized a Mix It Up day that brought students with disabilities together with nondisabled students. During a week of thanks, they encouraged everyone to give honest praise to family members, other students, teachers, cafeteria workers, custodians, bus drivers and other staff. They created a giant bulletin board that said “thank you” written in 22 other languages. They kept the positive energy up with a Week of Kindness!
The Roeper School
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
At Roeper, the students in the school’s Student Diversity Advisory Committee took a leading role in planning this year’s Mix It Up ice-cream social. Students mixed it up to create diverse groups of 15 to 17 students, with each group led by a student facilitator, who took charge of one or more icebreaker activities. This year’s ice-cream social was so successful that the school now has plans to “Mix It Up” once each month at lunchtime!
Saucon Valley Middle School
A student-produced promotional video is one of several ways SVMS got its school community ready to mix it up for the second year in a row. With animal-themed tables to arrange seating and thought-provoking questions to stir up conversation, students had a great time!
Schuyler-Colfax Middle School
Wayne, New Jersey
Instead of mixing it up at lunch, Schuyler-Colfax Middle School shook things up in homeroom. To prepare, students participated in mini lessons and character education events. Then, in homeroom, they played icebreakers and games, like “Get to Know You” bingo, to find something in common with at least five new people. In a survey afterward, students overwhelmingly selected “I like this!”
Sligo Creek Elementary School
Silver Spring, Maryland
The PTA organized Mix It Up at Lunch at Sligo Creek Elementary! PTA members distributed guided conversation sheets at lunchtime, and students used them to ask each other questions and write down each other’s answers. Then, a few brave volunteers presented their new friends to the whole lunchroom. Students had so much fun finding common ground with people they had never met before!
South Mountain High School
The students of South Mountain set up their Mix event in their school’s “quad” area. Participants received “No Hate” bracelets and blank stickers that they decorated with compliments for their peers. A Kindness Game was followed by dancing to the beat of a talented DJ, who played hop-hop, country and Spanish-language bachatas and cumbias. Great fun!
Tilden Middle School
Tilden Middle School’s first-ever Mix It Up event was birthday-celebration themed! The cafeteria was decorated with balloons and decorations specific to each month of the year. The school also had a backup plan for students who may not have felt comfortable with so much change or sensory overload. All students, who have diverse backgrounds and abilities, participated in the planned events! One student told his Asperger’s case manager, “This helped me meet new friends.”
Tinicum didn’t just mix up who they sat with for lunch; they also mixed up lunch by eating breakfast at lunchtime! Students were excited to break out of their usual assigned seating. The new friendships continued to blossom with programs like Break Down Bullying Day and an ongoing “Bigs and Littles” event, in which eighth-graders visit lower-grade classrooms to help students with their social skills.
Tri-Cities Prep High School
Tri-Cities has been mixing it up once a month all year long. Before each different event, a designated group of students prepare “Convo Starters” as well as “Next Level questions” to keep conversations rolling. At one month’s event, students took turns “mixing it up” at a turntable. Students who have been central to the planning or participation of an event are awarded a Spork to symbolize the new perspectives encouraged at Mix It Up at Lunch.
Utica Junior High School
Mix It Up is so popular at Utica Junior High students continue to ask for more days. They brought Mix It Up out of the cafeteria and into the classroom where they mixed up the seating chart in science class to allow students to sit with different peers.
Varina Elementary School
Varina didn’t just mix it up inside their school but with another school as well! They invited a neighboring middle school to be peer leaders during their Mix event. Eighth-grade students were at each of the tables to help facilitate conversation about standing up against bullying. This gave the elementary students the chance to see close-in-age peers be leaders and allowed middle school students to practice leadership skills. Sounds like a win for everyone involved!
Village Elementary School
Village Elementary used a combination of parents and teachers to plan their Mix It Up day. Students even got out of class early to get a head start on their Mix activities. For the next Mix event, the fifth- graders are in charge of planning—they already know what a successful Mix event looks like!
Warner Elementary School
Warmer Elementary’s No Place for Hate committee organized this year’s Mix It Up day. They’ve celebrated Mix twice already this school year! They added Mix It Up as one of their days for Random Acts of Kindness Week. For seven days students are participating in paying it forward with a kind deed.
Warner Girls' Leadership Academy
WGLA scholars couldn’t stop talking about their first Mix It Up at Lunch Day this year, which was a huge success! Not only did staff and students ask to have it multiple times a year; they later took the Mix spirit to the streets by marching around their school during an anti-bullying rally.
Welsh Valley Middle School
At the start of the school year, Welsh Valley Middle School hosted a Fall BBQ with a “no place for hate” pledge activity. This activity kickstarted the routine of making lunches a time for student activities that help build a stronger school community. On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, students wrote a phrase or drew a picture on a brick-shaped piece of construction paper about one of the four “forum pillars”: respect, responsibility, character and citizenship.
Westwood Junior/Senior Regional High School
Township of Washington, New Jersey
Students at Westwood took a pledge in the weeks leading up to their Mix It Up event, committing to participate and connect with peers they didn’t know. An icebreaker activity a few days before their official Mix Lunch got them ready to meet their commitment. Students reflected on their experiences later via the school’s Mix blog—and from the comments, it was a slam dunk!
William Wood Elementary School
After their Mix It Up event, the children of Wood Elementary identified which character traits they explored during their mixed up lunch. Many said they were respectful to others when they were talking. Some students shared about being fair and taking turns answering questions. Most of the students talked about how important it was to be kind and caring when making new friends!
Windsor Middle School
Windsor, New York
The Student Council planned and ran WMS’s full-day event, which was dedicated to bullying prevention. They began with a morning assembly and ended with a “Minute to Win It” pep rally. In the middle was a lively lunch that included tables decorated with balloons that held questions. The catch? Find creative ways to pop each balloon—and have a great time enjoying your new friends!
In Winton School District, the stage was set for successful Mix events with empathy lessons for each class, conducted by a counselor. Mix It Up events were hosted outside at different schools, involving students, educators and families! Third-, fourth- and fifth-graders mixed it up, while high school students helped conduct icebreakers and team-building exercises. And kindergarteners through second-grade students danced and jumped rope. Talk about a fun-filled, positive experience!
Winnebago Middle School
Having mixed it up for over six years, this multi-year Mix Model School uses Mix It Up at Lunch Day to actively examine and improve its school climate. This year, the week prior to the big day, students participated in a counselor-led activity: Write an act of intolerance on a paper “brick.” The bricks were used to create a Wall of Intolerance. On Mix It Up Day, students discussed different bricks at their lunch tables and brainstormed ways to eliminate them from their school.
Woodglen Elementary School
New City, New York
Working to become a “Pay It Forward” campus, Woodglen had its first-ever Mix It Up at Lunch Day this year and made it a birthday party! With the cafeteria dressed up in party-like décor, the students had a blast sitting at tables according to birthday month, and parents raved about the event, too.
Woodland Middle School
East Meadow, New York
The week leading up to Woodland’s Mix event was full of sprit days: t Students wore team jerseys, tie-dye, inside-out clothing, pajamas and Disney character shirts. Students received bracelets in homeroom with a Disney movie written on it. At lunchtime, they sat according to their movie. While they mixed it up, students worked on Disney trivia questions together as they listened to Disney music!
Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
Sloan, New York
Students in grades 3-5 celebrated their similarities and differences with an activity called the “The Chain That Connects Us.” Students were paired with others they didn’t know well, writing one difference and one similarity between them on blank paper chain links and linking their chains. Each pair then shared what they learned with the table—an even longer chain! By the time all lunch periods had mixed it up, one giant chain represented their entire school and was hung in the cafeteria.
Yeshiva of Central Queens
Flushing, New York
Yeshiva’s Mix It Up Club organized this year’s event, which featured Sara Bareilles’ popular song “Brave” and included a moment of silence for youth who have committed suicide due to bullying. The event made such an impact on the students that many of them want to join the Mix It Up Club, which is already overflowing!