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BLUE BOMBER VOICES: LP Elementary School hosts Mix It Up at Lunch

December 1, 2016
By DEANNA BROWN - LPES counselor , Lake Placid News

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, Lake Placid Elementary School joined schools across the nation in hosting a Mix It Up at Lunch event.

Mix It Up at Lunch is a fun way to encourage students to sit in a different spot than they usually do. By taking a risk, students help to build a safe and supportive school where everyone is included. While most students look forward to these events, it can be very uncomfortable for some students to sit with someone they don't usually sit with. Mix It Up events helps remind students to welcome everyone at their table and help everyone feel included, at lunch and beyond.

Mix It Up events are part of The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program.

Article Photos

Lake Placid Elementary School
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

"By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries" (Teaching Tolerance). Lake Placid Elementary School has been recognized as a Mix It Up Model School for the past two years by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This national award is given to schools that have made efforts to promote kindness and respect throughout the year. LPES has hosted a fall and a spring Mix It Up event, in addition to many other programs and activities that promote a safe and supportive school climate.

This year's event was planned and led by a small group of fifth grade students, who met with their school counselor during lunch for six weeks prior to the event. They did a great job at listening respectfully to each other's ideas, being assertive, making group decisions, and working as a team. As a K-5 building, we look to our 5th graders to be leaders and role models. Participating in the planning group was an opportunity to use leadership skills that are taught at LPES in fourth and fifth grades.

The planning group chose a sports theme for the event, selecting a different sport for each table in the cafeteria. As students arrived for lunch, they were given a card with a picture of sports equipment and were helped to find the table with the matching picture to find their seat. Once everyone was seated, planning group members told students about why we do Mix It Up events.

As part of our Mix It Up celebration, our 5th grade planning group members invited all students in our building to participate in a coloring contest. There were many fabulous entries with lots of terrific messages written in, such as "Be a friend to everyone," "Be nice to people," and "Be a Bucket Filler." Planning members voted on their favorites to select a winning poster from each grade. Winners received a packet of prizes, including a certificate for ice cream, stickers, and colorful pencils. Our winners were:

-Kindergarten: Erik Rock

-Grade 1: Cali Washington

-Grade 2: Lucas Barry

-Grade 3: Alysesianna Smith

-Grade 4: Anisa Cecunjanin

-Grade 5: Josh Taylor

The members of the planning group and I would like to thank FRIENDS, the parent organization of LPES, for purchasing table tents to display our theme cards on the tables for this event and many more. They also paid for prizes for our coloring contest, and treats that were given out to all students who participated in our Mix It Up event.

We are so lucky to have such supportive parents that are willing to work so hard to support programs and activities that enhance the lives of our students.



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