This week, students at Roslyn Elementary School joined more than one million other students across the country to help break down social and racial barriers by participating in the 11th annual Mix It Up Day.
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 the day. Not only did students sit with someone new during lunch, they participated in many barrier-busting activities throughout the day.
Roslyn Elementary School students took part in the school’s own version of this event when classes of different grade levels joined together to complete a special, engaging activity, led by their teachers, that promotes tolerance. Tolerance is of special importance to Roslyn Elementary School because it is one of the school’s adopted school-wide expectations for behavior.
At the end of the day, the students will have met and worked with others with whom they may not have had an opportunity to work before. The students also learned to celebrate their differences and focused on what they all have in common.
“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,” Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello said. “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 our nation’s children.
Information courtesy of Byron Goldstein/Abington School District