Mix it Up at Lunch Day challenges students to get out of their comfort zone and engage with others, helping to create a more inclusive school. Begun by the organization, Teaching Tolerance, it is held on the last Tuesday of October. Students sit in a different seat in the cafeteria and interact with peers during their lunchtime. Preparation, activities, and follow-up are important to consider in hosting a Mix it Up at Lunch Day.
Key Components of Mix It Up at Lunch Day
Preparation is essential for a successful Mix it Up event. Get permission from your administration and put together a Mix it Up Prep Team. Your prep team should include students, along with teachers and parents.
Determine a date. Mix it Up doesn’t have to be on the official day. Do what works best for your school.
Decide how students participate. Is it mandatory or do students have a choice?
Promote the event. Use daily announcements, place posters around the school, advertise through social media, district/school web page, and promote the event through other school clubs and parent groups.
Activities are key to the success of your Mix it Up event. Sitting at a new place during lunch is a scary thing. Make it fun. Jazz it up with décor, music, giveaways, themes, contests etc. Decorate and rearrange the tables to be colorful and inviting. Play music. Get donations for giveaways from local businesses. Have a local celebrity MC. Make it intentional.
Mix it Up is a great way to help students reach out and get to know new people. Provide discussion cards, games and ice breaker activities to help students interact. Download these Mix it Up at Lunch Discussion Cards for your event.
Follow-Up After Your Event
Debrief the event with your prep team. Determine what worked and learn from what didn’t. Conduct an online survey for students and staff to evaluate the event. Consider the feedback in planning your next event.
Repeat the message. Plan another Mix it Up event with a different twist. Use other aspects of your program to promote an inclusive school environment-classroom curriculum, character education, mentoring, bullying prevention, and other school-wide events.
Mix it Up at Lunch Day can be a catalyst in helping students get out of their comfort zone and break free from their fears and insecurities in meeting new people. Check out Teaching Tolerance for more information on Mix it up at Lunch Day.
I’m a school counselor, former special education teacher, and adult educator. I am an advocate for students and implement a comprehensive program based on the ASCA National Model and the TN counseling model. My hope is that all students reach their full potential without limitations.