Results of a recent survey show Mix It Up at Lunch Day was an overwhelming success for the more than three million students across the country who participated in November.
"The experience was fantastic, and we received comments about wanting to do this again, perhaps once a month! Thank you so much for this great idea/activity," wrote one faculty advisor shortly after the program. "So many students wanted to participate."
Sponsored by the Center's Teaching Tolerance program, the annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day encourages students to swap seats in the school cafeteria as an effort to cross social boundaries.
The Teaching Tolerance survey also found:
• 99 percent of teachers say they would recommend Mix It Up to other schools;
• 95 percent of teachers said the program was successful;
• 96 percent of the students who participated in Mix It Up interacted with people outside of their normal social circles, and 99 percent of those interactions were positive;
• 79 percent of participants made new friends, while 74 percent were more comfortable interacting with different people than they were before;
• 91 percent of students had an increased awareness of the social boundaries in their schools.
"I am glad we had the chance to experience Mix It Up," wrote one student from California. "The whole lunch period was very fun, and I hope this day is celebrated everywhere because it really brings everyone together."
Survey results also point to the need to continue the program throughout the school year, said Mix It Up director Tafeni English.
"The results of the survey confirm the Mix It Up Program will change the social climate of a school, but schools must move beyond the Mix It Up at Lunch Day," said English.
"Getting students involved in pre- and post-day activities are an important and necessary step in improving the social climate in schools and increasing student interaction across group lines."