Students at Colchester Middle School will participate in “National Mix It Up at Lunch Day” on Wednesday, October 31 (rescheduled to accommodate Hurricane Sandy)—a movement encouraging students across the country to dissolve social boundaries by stepping outside their comfort zones and mingling with others they might not know very well during lunchtime. This is an important event because it is a simple act with profound implications; interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudices and bullying behaviors, and biases and misconceptions can fall away. The annual event increases students’ awareness of the various social divisions that exist among them and increases understanding among the students about one another, well complementing ongoing initiatives around bullying and discrimination prevention and increasing respect and tolerance across the school community. It is also designed to be a lot of fun; at CMS, students and staff are encouraged to wear mixed-up outfits and to complete a human scavenger hunt in order to celebrate the day and to facilitate the experience.
The concept was developed by Teaching Tolerance, an organization committed to improving students’ school experiences by reducing prejudice and improving relationships among students of all backgrounds. Because Teaching Tolerance’s surveys have identified school cafeterias as a place where social divisions are particularly prominent, cafeterias are ideal locations to encourage the experience of enhanced intergroup mingling.
National Mix It Up Day takes place all over the country! Click here for a map indicating other participating schools all across the nation.
CMS has implemented a number of initiatives to encourage a supportive academic climate. Such efforts include a peer mentoring program, the adoption of a cougar mascot and creation of a school rally song, a canine-assisted therapy pilot program, creation of a knitting club, efforts to encourage school pride, and a new school song (to view the lyrics, click here, and to view a short video of a recent pep rally and a sample of the song, click here).
For more information, please visit the CMS guidance website, or call (802) 264-5800.
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