Mix It Up Day Breaks Down Cliques

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Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a campaign run by Teaching Tolerance “that encourages students to identify, question, and cross social boundaries.” Teaching Tolerance is a program that aims to assist educators in promoting diversity and tolerance in the youth of

America.

This day of breaking out of boundaries was planned by Mr. Dow and his Contemporary Issues class as their final project for the course.

“My goal, first and foremost, was just to have fun. Its a change. We get so used to our social boundaries in schools. I thought it would be fun way to cross those social boundaries.” social studies teacher Mr. Brian Dow said.

Mr. Dow’s Contemporary Issues class was broken up into committees to help plan the event each taking an aspect of the day. For example, one group was responsible for the scientific randomization of the tables, another took to social media to advertise, and a third got the event onto the morning announcements.

“It was a course project that [my students] could really take ownership of. It made them feel good. They had a sense of accomplishment,” Mr. Dow said.

During lunch time, students were randomly assigned to a cafeteria table and encouraged to get to know their peers better and break out of cliques. Activities were planned to bring students into discussions with one another.

At Southern Lehigh High School’s version of Mix It Up Day, activities included icebreakers, a Quizlet live trivia game, and a dance battle. The icebreakers allowed to students to learn each other’s names, grades, and a few other assorted facts.

“[I think that] sitting with our own class would have been less awkward, so that freshmen weren’t stuck with upperclassmen,” freshman Sophie Poirot said.

In the back of the cafeteria, there was a DJ station taking music requests from students, resulting in a diverse soundtrack consisting of everything from Justin Bieber to “Baby Shark.”

“I think some students felt uncomfortable; they didn’t like being forced. Some students were receptive, some weren’t,” Spanish teacher Mrs. Jennifer Jaen said. Those who did not like it, though, seemed to be able to offer some constructive criticism.

After the fact, however, the reaction was very positive. Mr. Dow tentatively plans on doing Mix It Up Day again next semester or next year.

Kennah Salvo
The cafeteria is decorated the morning of Mix It Up Day by Mr. Dow’s Contemporary Issues Class

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