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Lynn English High School is designated 'Mix It Up' Model School by the Southern Poverty Law Center
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program has named Lynn English High School as a Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among students and throughout campus during the 2011-12 school year.
"We are delighted to recognize each of these schools," said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. "Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create a school environment where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They serve as examples for other schools hoping to instill these values in their students, faculty and staff."
The 2012 National Mix It Up at Lunch Day will be held on Oct. 30. A list of the model schools can be found at http://www.tolerance.org/mix-it-up/model-schools.
For more than a decade, Mix It Up Day has provided students across the country with an opportunity to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It's a simple act with profound implications as studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off a yearlong exploration of social divisions. Last year, 5,500 schools took part in the event.
The LEHS Friends of Rachel Club sponsors two Mix It Up dinners per year, and is open to all interested students. The most recent, a luau-themed dinner, was held on March 14th with close to 100 attendees. As students arrived, they were randomly seated at tables with students that they never, or rarely, interacted with prior to the event. Icebreaker games helped students get to know their new acquaintances. Student organizers agree that Mix It Up dinners encourage students to cross group lines and interact with new people. It raises awareness about social boundaries and helps students meet different kinds of people. The Teaching Tolerance website states, It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy. For more information, see www.splcenter.org
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