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More than 6,000 schools to observe National Mix It Up at Lunch Day

Students at more than 6,000 schools across the country will participate in the 12th Annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day event on Oct. 29 – double the number of schools that officially participated in the program last year.

Students at more than 6,000 schools across the country will participate in the 12th Annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day event on Oct. 29 – double the number of schools that officially participated in the program last year.

The program, held in conjunction with National Bullying Prevention Month, encourages students to step out of their cliques and sit with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day.

“We are delighted that thousands of schools across the country are participating in National Mix It Up at Lunch Day this year,” said Maureen Costello, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project, which sponsors the event. “More and more educators are recognizing that Mix It Up is a fun and effective way to break down social and racial barriers and help their students see how much they have in common with their classmates.”

A map showing the number of schools participating in each state this year can be viewed here.

Cafeterias are the focus of the program because that’s where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious.

Many schools are planning barrier-busting activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.

Last year, students at Albion Middle School in Sandy, Utah, organized a campus-wide flash mob for their Mix it Up at Lunch Day. In Illinois, students at Palatine High School planned a three-day extravaganza called “Lunchapalooza.” In addition to getting to know their classmates, students performed karaoke, danced and shared other talents.

Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children. It produces and distributes tools at no cost to teachers, including Teaching Tolerance magazine, online curricula and professional development resources, and multimedia teaching kits that introduce students to various civil rights issues.