[Red Lodge, MT] – On October 23rd, students at Roosevelt Middle School will join more than one million other students across the country and around the world to help break down social and racial barriers by participating in the 16th annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day.

We’ve participated for the last four years, and it’s always worth our while! The students absolutely love it. Asking students to sit by someone different at lunch is a great way to help break down cliques and social barriers. Mix It Up at Lunch Day sets the stage for a more accepting student body.

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 one day. Teaching Tolerance encourages schools to incorporate the day into yearlong efforts to promote a healthy school climate. 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 or hold multiple events throughout the school year.

This year’s theme is super heroes. Visit https://www.tolerance.org/mix-it-up to find free printable posters and graphics from Teaching Tolerance! Plus, they have suggestions for activities and tell you exactly how to get started.

Download our How To: Mix It Up Day to see how we celebrate Mix It Up Day with a Power Up, Speak Out!  flair! 

(Find more school-wide activities like this on the Boost Pack in Educator Support. Not a subscriber? For less than the cost of two Starbucks fancy coffees each month, you can subscribe today! Learn more HERE!)

However you do it, find a way to Mix It Up! We couldn’t agree more with Teaching Tolerance Director, Maureen Costello, who said, “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. When people step out of their cliques and get to know someone, they realize just how much they have in common.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center established Teaching Tolerance in 1991 to provide educators with free resources designed to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and support equitable school experiences for the nation’s children. Check out all their resources at https://www.tolerance.org/.