Elementary school kids are mixing it up at lunch to make new friends. At Creekside Elementary, students find a lunch buddy with a matching sticker and sit with them.  This is how the school is pairing students who do not usually sit together, so they can get to know their classmates better.

Mixing it up at Lunch“You sit with a person you never sat with before,” said Creekside third-grader Shalyn Chavez. “You’re making a new friend. You can know them a little bit better.”

Creekside Elementary in Boulder Colorado was part of a national effort, “Mix It Up at Lunch Day.” The Mix It Up campaign was started 1o years ago, by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The campaign literature states “when students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away.”

Teacher Sheila Cullen organized the activity at Creekside.  “It’s important to address the racial and social divisions that happen during lunch and recess,” she said.

Cullen noticed that around third grade, students start self segregating by ethnicity at lunchtime.  When she discovered the mix it up project, she wanted to try it.

“It’s just a way to start having these conversations in our school,” she said.

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