Drauden Students 'Mix It Up' to Encourage Respect for Diversity
For the ninth consecutive year, Drauden Point Middle School students participated in the national "Mix It Up at Lunch Day" on Nov. 9.
The event, part of a national program, is designed to foster respect and understanding for others. It encourages students to sit with someone new in the cafeteria for one day, and to use what they learn from that point on.
Before their lunch periods, the students gathered outside the doors of the cafeteria. Each student was given a slip of paper that matched a quote on one of the lunch tables. The students were instructed to sit at the table that matched their quote.
The quotes were uplifting sayings designed to help the students have conversations with others they may not regularly socialize with – for example, a Venezuelan proverb, "A good friend will fit you like a ring to a finger."
During lunch, the students played "People Bingo" to foster discussion and help students get to know each other. At the end of lunch, the students wrote messages of tolerance, diversity, social action, conflict resolution, friendship and self-esteem on handprints and taped them to the cafeteria walls.
The Drauden Point Multicultural Club promoted "Mix It Up Day" with a scavenger hunt around the school. The students tried to locate folders with pieces of a puzzle. If the students correctly assembled a completed poster, they received a prize.
"Mix It Up at Lunch Day" is sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project. The Southern Poverty Law Center launched the Mix It Up program in 2002 to reduce prejudice and promote respect for differences among the nation's children.