Students at Chandler’s recently joined more than one million other students across the country to help break down social and racial barriers by participating in the 12th annual “Mix It Up at Lunch Day.”
Breanna Madison, eighth grader at Chandlers stated, “I have observed that people are extremely cautious when approaching the boarders of their comfort zone, but all they need is a bit of encouragement to do something outside of it, even if it’s something as small as sitting with new people.”
The event, launched by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project in 2002, encourages students to sit with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day. Cafeterias are the focus of Mix It Up because that’s where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious. Many schools plan similar barrier-busting activities throughout the day. Some use the event to kick off a year-long exploration of social divisions.
Mix it Up Day was included in Red Ribbon Week ( say no to drugs) and emphasized the importance of following 7 Habits for Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey, in making positive, proactive choices in life.
“Mix It Up is a positive step that schools can take to help create learning environments where students see each other as individuals and not just as members of a separate group,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common.”
Chandler’s Middle School is a re-designated “School to Watch” and most recently earned the distinction of a Distinguished Middle School under state testing criteria, ranking among the top 10 percent of schools throughout the Commonwealth.