Students are what Mix It Up at Lunch Day is all about, and students are what make it successful.
Last school year, at least 1.5 million students across the country took part in Mix It Up at Lunch Day. We surveyed schools afterward, and it was clear that the most effective events took place in schools where students took the lead in organizing events.
Teacher-led activities work well in elementary schools, particularly in the early grades. But from upper elementary through middle school and high school, student-led activities have more buy-in and better participation. And even in early elementary, events went better when schools had students from upper grades serve as ambassadors, explaining Mix It Up to younger students in classrooms, at recess, in assemblies and so on.
Start with logical choices. Is the Student Council interested in leading organizing efforts? Or perhaps a Diversity Club or Multicultural Club? Could organizing the event be an assignment in one or more classes at your school? Whenever possible, use existing structures to support the planning and organizing efforts.
But don’t stop there. Remember the underlying spirit of Mix It Up. Sometimes, clubs and councils aren’t comfortable settings for all students. Look beyond the existing structures to find a handful of key students who carry influence, then invite them—genuinely, one-on-one, calling on their leadership abilities—to help make the day a success. One or two key “outsiders” can make all the difference—and can deepen the impact of Mix It Up on your campus.
After you have your core group of student organizers, plan some Mix It Up activities for them so they start to understand the power of the event. A good place to start? The “Me and We” activity offered as part of our free online resources.
Mix It Up at Lunch Day is Oct. 29!
Questions about Mix It Up? Ideas for Mix It Up organizers at other schools? Other thoughts? We welcome feedback—and can respond to questions—on Facebook or Twitter. You can also browse our free Mix It Up resources online.