This is a great program, that I wish I had learned about sooner, but it is an idea that can be undertaken at any time and I think everyone should hear about it.
Mix It Up At Lunch is a simple call to action: take a new seat in the cafeteria. By making the move, students can cross the lines of division, meet new people and make new friends. It is about stepping outside your comfort zone, crossing social and cultural lines and getting to know more about the people that go to school with you, your neighbours and classmates.
Now it may sound like a very daunting task to get the whole school to change where they sit at lunchtime, but with a team and some support from teachers/administrators it has already proven very successful in many school in the US. There are a bunch of videos and stories documenting Mix It Up At Lunch day since it’s beginnings a number of years ago.
One story that stuck out to me can be found in full here. A terrible car accident claimed the lives of three students at a school the day of their Mix it up program. Organizers thought it best to cancel the event, but students disagreed. They thought that this would be a great time to hold such an event – to reach out to others, to get to know one another. It became more imporant that before because as a result of the accident many students were now never going to get to know the three who died that day. So organizers rescheduled Mix it up and everyone had a great experience.
There are lots of mix it up stories and videos and posters, brochures and tips on how to have your own mix it up day. You can even check the group out on Facebook!! I know my own high school experience could have been much improved if we’d had more stuff like this. The only people I really still keep in touch with are the few I had lunch with everyday, but what would things be like now if we had mixed it up a little and spent more time with those at other tables in the cafeteria??
Mix It Up At Lunch Day is an initiative running from the Teaching Tolerance Project and in a world such as the one we live in, learning tolerance, getting to know others and learning that we are all fundamentally the same is of utmost importance. It really will make the world a better place, it will create love and understanding, erasing ignorance and hate, and ultimately improve the lives of all.
Do you think Mix It Up might work at your school?