HAT and Strelitz celebrate national “Mix it up Day”

by | Dec 6, 2013 | Other News

On October 29, Hebrew Academy of Tidewater and Strelitz students joined more than one million other students across the country by participating in the 12th annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Launched by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project in 2002, the event encourages children to broaden their perspectives by interacting with schoolmates outside of their regular friendship circles. An example is sitting with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day, a place where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious.

HAT students from kindergarten through fifth grade participated in a lesson on tolerance. They were given a necklace and assigned seats at tables with other children wearing the same necklace, mixing up students from all grade levels. Once seated, there were questions for each to answer.

“The fifth graders did a great job facilitating the discussions amongst their tablemates. Every one learned something about another student and made new friends,” says Janet Jenkins, HAT general studies director and coordinator of the activities.

“The preschool really enjoyed celebrating Mix-It-Up Day as well,” says Ellen Sacks, preschool teacher and coordinator of pre-K activities. “Teachers explained to the children that they were celebrating a day about being kind to one another and making new friends. They took half of each preschool class and switched with half of another preschool class. The children played for 20 minutes and then enjoyed a ‘mixed up snack’ of two different cereals. Then they switched again for 20 minutes so everyone had a chance to be in the other classroom, playing with new friends and different toys. They really enjoyed it!”

“We appreciate the opportunity to participate in Mix It Up Day,” says Rabbi Mordechai Wecker, head of school. “It allows us to teach an important lesson in a meaningful way—one about tolerance and standing up to stop bullying and hatred. These are our Torah’s teachings of kindness and respect for one another.”