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.
The 2012/2013 Mix It Up Model Schools have met these criteria:
- They hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day in 2012 (it did not have to fall on national Mix Day, Oct. 30).
- They followed up with at least two additional programs or events on campus that sustained the spirit of Mix It Up.
- They included different members of the school community (e.g., cafeteria staff, aides, administration, teachers or students) to organize Mix It Up.
- They publicized Mix Day or celebrated inclusiveness with a variety of posters, announcements and other media.
- Their students and staff saw Mix It Up at Lunch Day as a success.
2012/2013 Mix It Up at Lunch Day Model Schools
Kyrene Akimel A-al Middle School
The student council at Akimel A-al Middle School was instrumental in making Mix It Up at Lunch Day a success. These student leaders visited classes to promote the event and acted as table facilitators during the day itself.
Albion Middle School
Students at Albion Middle School got to talk, think and dance during their Mix It Up at Lunch Day. From forming a “Thriller” flashmob to writing acrostic poems based on the letters in “Mix It Up,” this school found creative ways to engage students’ bodies and minds.
Ann Richards Middle School
Ann Richards Middle School is a brand new school starting off on the right foot! The school planned its Mix It Up at Lunch Day with support from parents, community members, students and staff. Ann Richards students also engage in events and activities throughout the year that emphasize safety, respect and responsibility.
Avonworth Middle School
Eighth-graders at Avonworth count down to Mix It Up At Lunch Day in their civics class and then follow the event with reflective classroom activities.
Blue Valley Middle School
Overland Park, Kan.
The Diversity Team at Blue Valley makes sure that the spirit of Mix It Up is carried throughout the year. In addition to multiple Mix It Up at Lunch Days, they post encouraging notes around the school and ensure every homeroom has a diversity poster.
Brigantine North Middle School
Students at Brigantine North Middle School had to figure out why they were assigned to sit with their new friends during Mix It Up at Lunch Day. This problem-solving activity broke the ice and required participants to talk about characteristics that might be unique to their group. Students enjoyed this so much they asked for more Mix events!
Brighton High School
Brighton High School is a veteran Mix It Up school hosting their 7th event! This year, the planning committee set up the cafeteria in “zones” so students could choose the boring “business as usual” tables or venture into the exciting, decorated zone that had music and ice cream sundaes. Those who chose the fun zone had the option of signing a pledge committing not to use their hands or words in a hurtful manner.
Cascia Hall Preparatory School
At Cascia Hall Preparatory School, students learn to be kind to those in their school and community. The Acceptance and Inclusion Club hosted a week's worth of events surrounding Mix It Up at Lunch Day, including Random Acts of Kindness Day, Bullying Awareness Day and Philanthropy Day.
Chaminade College Preparatory
West Hills, Calif.
Chaminade College Preparatory holds a Mix It Up at Lunch Day twice a year. They found that promoting a “Mix” color scheme and encouraging students to wear the designated colors to school increased student interest. One Mix day even ended with a student-led conga line!
Archie R. Cole Middle School
Students at Cole Middle School use color cards both to assign seating and to enter a Mix It Up raffle. Activities before and after lunch focus on diversity, tolerance and equality. Pre- and post-surveys conducted by school counselors showed great results!
Concord Elementary School
Glen Mills, Pa.
Prior to Mix It Up at Lunch Day, Concord Elementary School students completed art projects about meeting new friends and hung their art in the cafeteria. Concord's principals and many teachers attended all four periods of the Mix event; having them there was a real treat for the kids.
Craver Middle School
Colorado City, Colo.
Craver Middle School organizers incorporated a scavenger hunt into their Mix It Up at Lunch Day activities. Students sat together based on the type of ribbons they found at the end of the hunt. The school puts its creativity into multiple Mix events, including a potluck picnic attended by parents and community members.
Emerald Cove Middle
Emerald Cove Middle School made the local news with its festive Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which featured Mardi Gras beads and dancing to “Gangnam Style.” The event was so popular with students that the school decided to host two additional Mix It Up at Lunch Days before the end of the year.
Forrestdale School has a long history of success with Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Students prepare for the event by reflecting on school issues and engaging in diversity lessons during biweekly, small class meeting called PRIDE groups.
Franklin Simpson Middle School
Franklin Simpson Middle School students mix it up by playing musical chairs. Kindness and responsibility are important themes in this school, which also celebrated Kindness Week.
Gildersleeve Middle School
Newport News, Va.
Tie-dyed T-shirts were a key element of Mix It Up at Lunch Day at Gildersleeve Middle School this year. In addition to swirling colors, the lunchroom rocked to the sounds of a live DJ and a local television news station captured the event. Gildersleeve has led the way for other community schools that are planning Mix days!
Griswold High School
Student leaders from Griswold High School facilitated Mix It Up at Lunch Days at the local middle and elementary schools this year, bringing the fun and friendship of Mix to younger students in the community.
H. C. Wilcox High School
During Mix It Up at Lunch Day, H. C. Wilcox High School students created a “Chain of Kindness,” a collection of paper links on which student wrote suggestions for random acts of kindness. The chain is displayed in the hallways to remind students to keep the Mix It Up spirit alive all year.
Hall High School
Little Rock, Ark.
Hall High School actively encourages its students to Mix It Up at Lunch every day and schedules regular “funky” celebration days to encourage positive peer relations. Student clubs at the school collaborate so effectively that Hall has been named a No Place for Hate school.
Harrison Elementary School
Harrison Elementary School not only mixed it up at lunch, they mixed up children and staff to create ten murals with themes like, “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” and, “Diversity Creates Dimension in Our World.” The murals now decorate the school as visual reminders that Harrison students work together to create a safe, friendly and welcoming community.
Hilton Head Island High School
Hilton Head, S.C.
On Mix It Up at Lunch Day, Hilton Head Island High School students received bracelets printed with the personalized message “HHIHS embraces diversity.” The bracelets designated lunch tables where students made new friends and learned about other upcoming initiatives like No Name-Calling Week.
Holy Name School
Holy Name School extended Mix It Up At Lunch into a school art activity during which older students helped their younger peers. Residents of a local assisted living facility now enjoy this friendship-inspired artwork.
Imagine Middle School at Broward
Coral Springs, Fla.
Imagine Middle School at Broward hosted “Survivor”-themed Mix It Up at Lunch activities that lasted all week. Colored headbands designated different student “tribes” that competed in challenges culminating in a STEM challenge activity and field day.
Immaculate Conception School
Immaculate Conception School partnered with another local Catholic school, extending the reach of Mix It Up at Lunch Day into the larger community. Students shared liturgy, icebreakers, Teaching Tolerance lessons, lunch and recess together.
Indian Hills Middle School
Students at Indian Hills Middle School had so much fun at their Mix It Up at Lunch Event that they decided to host a second event….with a mariachi band!
John F. Kennedy Middle School
Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
The spirit of Mix It Up lives on year round at John F. Kennedy Middle School. After the event, students add their Mix reflections to leaves on the Unity Tree displayed in the school's lobby.
Kemps Landing Magnet School
Virginia Beach, Va.
Student planning and activity facilitation made Mix It Up at Lunch Day special for lunchers Kemps Landing Magnet School. Fashion-forward kids and teachers mixed up their wardrobes as well as their lunch companions, making the event both memorable and effective.
Leander Middle School
The C Squared Club at Leander Middle School does a great job putting together fun and unique Mix It Up at Lunch Day activities. The Club is also sponsoring “21 Days of Kindness” to promote a caring school climate.
Lynn English High School
Lynn English High School students plan, organize and host a Mix It Up dinner each year. Local businesses sponsor the food, and this year's dinner had a Mardi Gras theme. The publicity committee at Lynn English does a great job of bringing representatives from all student groups to the Mix dinner table. The event is so popular that participation doubled between the second and third year!
Marion C. Cook School
Marion C. Cook School only planned to have one Mix It Up at Lunch Day, but the event was so successful they decided to have two! Students not only made new friends over lunch but also participated in recess games created by the My Civil Rights Team.
Marshall Elementary School
At Marshall, Mix It Up at Lunch Day is part of a larger celebration--Teaching Tolerance week. Both students and staff mix it up by sitting with someone new. One class has “Wacky Wednesday Lunch” every week, so students can break down social barriers all year long.
Mary E. Roberts Elementary School
Mary E. Roberts Elementary designed its Mix It Up activities to promote learning about classmates' family customs and heritage. Melinda Hall reports the students enjoy this day so much that it's “joyfully difficult to get everyone's attention to get them ready to end their lunch period and return to classes.”
Mount View Middle School
Each grade level at Mount View Middle School brought a surprise element to Mix It Up at Lunch Day. From “elf yourself” video presentations to a flash mob involving students and teachers, this event involved both laughter and learning.
Mountlake Terrace High School
Mountlake Terrace, Wash.
Mountlake Terrace High School is so committed to Mixing It Up that they have a Mix It Up Club! The group plans activities that promote positive school climate. The school's Mix It Up at Lunch Day is described as "rowdy" with huge participation numbers and lots of fun-filled activities.
North Star Elementary
Everyone--from administrators to physical education teachers--helps out with Mix It Up at Lunch Day at North Star. Leading up to the event, students participate in a series of lessons focused on diversity and empathy and help make posters and other decorations for the cafeteria.
Northley MIddle School
Northley Middle School has been Mixing it Up at Lunch for years! This school makes the event fun and exciting with music, balloons and a Halloween candy theme.
Palatine High School
Palatine High School turns its Mix It Up at Lunch Day into a three-day extravaganza called "Lunchapalooza." In addition to getting to know their classmates, students collect donations, sing karaoke, dance and share other talents. According to organizers Kris Stary and Jenny Grapenthin, "The best part about Lunchapalooza is when you see kids you know don't know each other showing appreciation and support to each other."
Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School
At Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, the Mix It Up at Lunch Day committee designed creative icebreakers like "Peace Pong" to get students talking. Parents, faculty, staff and students also combined efforts to "Stomp Out Bullying." Each group signed shoe soles and displayed them together to symbolize the school's united efforts to keep everyone safe.
Pleasant Ridge Middle School
Overland Park, Kan.
Pleasant Ridge students love Mix It Up so much they hold four events a year. A fun Mix bulletin board features photos from each event, posters and information about upcoming Mix It Up at Lunch Days.
Portage North Middle School
At Portage North Middle School, Mix It Up at Lunch Day ended with a new mural hanging in the cafeteria. Mixed student groups worked on the individual pieces over lunch, after which the mural was assembled as a reminder to "Diverse and Converse."
Quail Summit Elementary School
Diamond Bar, Calif.
Quail Summit Elementary set up a Mix It Up at Lunch Day scavenger hunt during which volunteers tasked students with meeting different types of friends. Each time they completed a task, students were given a puzzle piece; a finished puzzle qualified them for prizes including a wristband to remind them of all the new people they had met!
Rancho Viejo Middle School
Rancho Viejo Middle School invites rotating groups of students to Mix It Up Mondays, held every other week. Although this is the first year as a Mix school, students got on board quickly and have started asking when they will be invited to attend again. According to nominator Jason Luna, “Every event gets better and better!”
Ridge Road Elementary School
North Haven, Conn.
Ridge Road Elementary School extends Mix It Up activities to recess and facilitates games that get the kids talking to students from different grades. They then move inside and continue the conversations with new friends over lunch. This school hosts three Mix It Up events during the year, so kids regularly meet new friends and hear messages about kindness and inclusion.
Rocky River Middle School
Rocky River, Ohio
After a successful Mix It Up at Lunch Day, Rocky River Middle School planned a day-long Mix event involving students and teachers throughout the entire school. Rocky River also participates in several other activities that promote kindness and tolerance, including No Name Calling Week and new student parties.
Sharon High School
Sharon High School did a great job bringing community partners in to help make its Mix It Up at Lunch Day special. The school's radio and television stations were on the scene as well, playing music and interviewing participants so that the school has a record of this fun and festive event.
Sharonville Elementary School
Sharonville Elementary School Mixes It Up by hosting Wacky Wednesdays lunches. Students are seated by different criteria each week. Staff reports that many children use the opportunity to talk about bullying issues; all come away with a better understanding of how different people can still be alike.
Shorewood Intermediate School
Students at Shorewood Intermediate School watched a video about natural versus drug-induced highs prior to Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They then identified their natural highs and sat with students who shared those interests. This strategy sparked anticipation, enthusiastic conversations and some lasting friendships.
Sol Feinstone Elementary School
Mix It Up at Lunch Day at Sol Feinstone Elementary School involved teachers, administrators, cafeteria and janitorial staff, parents, community professionals and students. Kids at this school not only see adults contributing to a caring environment, they recognize each other throughout the year for acts of kindness, tolerance, empathy and inclusion.
Southern Middle School
Cultural diversity is at the heart of Southern Middle School's Mix event. Students learn about historical examples of intolerance in the months surrounding Mix It Up at Lunch Day. They also assemble a Cultural Museum of tolerance-related projects displayed for the entire school and community.
Southwest Elementary School
Evergreen Park, Ill.
At Southwest School, a student group called the Peacemakers planned a Mix It Up event in which students made snowflakes to represent each student's unique identity. Leading up to the event, students learned about historic peaceful leaders, like Martin Luther King, Jr.
St. Cecilia Catholic School
St. Cecelia Catholic has been hosting Mix It Up at Lunch Days for years, and they've noticed a change in their student body. Young people in this school are "more inclusive and tolerant of differences," according to nominator Gloria Verna, who also notes how the event ties into the school motto: Respect, Responsibility, Reverence.
Templeton Middle School
The student council at Templeton Middle School selected the theme "Take Five" for their Mix activities this year: five seconds to learn someone's name, five minutes to get to know someone. Staff displayed paper hand cutouts printed with each student's name and instructed the children to find the people their "hands" were touching.
The American School of Kinshasa (TASOK)
Kinshasa, DRC, Africa
From treasure hunts to poetry slams, The American School of Kinshasa students make Mix It Up at Lunch Day their own. Events are held on the first Friday of every month and always include Mix activities and discussion questions.
Thomas Jefferson Senior High School
Thomas Jefferson High School's student council, diversity committee and other student groups combine efforts to plan and facilitate Mix It Up at Lunch Day. The event has been so successful, student and school leaders decided to do it three times a year!
Timmons Elementary School
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Organizers at Timmons Elementary School involve local high school students in their monthly Mix It Up at Lunch. Timmons students not only make new friends, they meet positive role models who help make the experience fun and stress free.
University Heights Charter School
At University Heights Charter School, Mix It Up at Lunch Day is preceded by small group advisory sessions about tolerance. Students are encouraged to maintain the friendly connections they make during Mix It Up at Lunch Day, and many do. Teachers report enthusiastic reviews from their students and say it is "exciting to see tolerance so visible!"
University of the Rockies
Colorado Springs, Colo.
Students and staff at University of the Rockies participate in multiple Mix It Up events throughout the year, experiences that not only help them become better acquainted with each other, but also send encouraging messages to younger students in the community. At a recent Mix event participants wrote letters to Denver Public School children encouraging them to stay in school.
Vaughn Next Century Learning Center
San Fernando, Calif.
All students K-12 have a chance to participate in Vaughn Next Century Learning Center's Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Originally organized by the school's GSA-Pride group, the annual event is promoted via weekly bulletins, emails and red ribbons. This year almost 500 students participated.
Students from multiple grades mixed it up at Venerini Academy. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders drew color cards to determine their groups. The day was such a success, the student council decided to plan more Mix events.
Los Angeles, Calif.
This year marked Vistamar School's sixth Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Several student clubs supported the event by hosting booths, games, activities and fundraisers, all of which contributed to a carnival-like atmosphere. This school's Mix festivities were almost entirely student driven and attracted over 75 percent voluntary student body attendance!
Will Rogers Middle School
Will Rogers Middle School promotes the spirit of Mix It Up at Lunch Day all year. Students participated in a Mix-n-Mingle Power Hour during which they completed team-building activities with students they don't see in classes. The school also honors the memories of students who lost their lives due to bullying and participates in the Day of Silence in support of LGBT youth.
Windsor Central Middle School
Windsor Central Middle School students are very involved in planning their Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Students inspire the activity ideas, the video club documents the day and the staff says the events have gone so well that young people want to have a Mix lunch every week!
Woodland Middle School
East Meadow, N.Y.
Woodland Middle School chose a theme for its Mix it Up at Lunch Day this year: "With every new friend you meet, life is a bit more sweet!" Student wore candy-themed bracelets, munched on candy necklaces and played candy-themed games. Lunch-time activities extend beyond Mix It Up at Woodland. Twice a month students participate in a social-skills group that brings general and special education students together in support of positive social skill building.