Why do we “Mix It Up”?
This is a guest post written by Middle School Counselor,
For years, Ravenscroft Middle School has participated in the Mix It Up at Lunch Day, a national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance over a decade ago. Mix It Up at Lunch Day “asks students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away.” This year, Tuesday, October 27, was the official Mix It Up Day.
The Ravenscroft Middle School celebrated by having students assigned to different classrooms that were mixed by grade level and gender in order for them to connect with students outside of their usual social circles. Students brought their lunches and began the time together with an icebreaker helping to reduce the initial discomfort of being away from their friends. They then engaged in a collaborative activity where they found common connections within small groups. The energy and comfort quickly increased; smiles and laughter were found in all of the classrooms! Time and time again, students ask for more opportunities to “mix it up” after this experience.
In the evening, Middle School families were invited to bring a picnic dinner and socialize with each other and Middle School faculty members in a Mix It Up event for students and adults alike. The rain didn’t deter the sense of camaraderie, although the event was moved into the Dining Hall.
Similar to the earlier student activity, the Family Scavenger Hunt got people communicating with each other and discovering interesting facts about others in our community. Families were then given a tour of some of the newest highlights in the Middle School — the MakerSpace (including a live performance of the MakerBot 3D printers,) the updated Commons area, the unique desks in several classrooms, and the newly paved courtyard soon to have shade sails.
What a great Mix It Up Day!
For more on the national Mix It Up at Lunch Day, go to www.tolerance.org.