GMS one of 104 Mix It Up Schools

Published 10:58 am Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Greenville Middle School was recently recognized as a 2014-15 Mix It Up Model School.

Mix It Up is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program, which aims to reduce prejudice and improve intergroup relations in the nation’s classrooms and communities.

GMS was one of 104 schools to receive the honor.

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Mix It Up organizers called GMS, and the other Mix It Up Model Schools, a “beacon for other schools striving for inclusiveness.”

“We are delighted to recognize Greenville Middle School,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Mix It Up Model Schools have found innovative ways to create school environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values. They all serve as great examples of how a school — any school — can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”

During Greenville’s first Mix It Up event, the language arts activity addressed cliques, and the math activity incorporated a survey regarding friendliness —those graphs were then placed in the cafeteria on Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Finally, students signed pledges, officially promising to refrain from and stand up to bullying.

The Teaching Tolerance program has hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day for the past 14 years to help students demonstrate the importance of respecting each other’s differences.

Research shows that Mix It Up programming works. According to Mix Day organizers who responded to a 2008 survey conducted by Quality Education Data, the Mix It Up program produces powerful results:

  • 97 percent said students’ interactions were positive during Mix It Up at Lunch Day.
  • 95 percent said Mix It Up at Lunch Day prompted students to interact with people outside their normal social circles.
  • 92 percent said Mix It Up at Lunch Day increased awareness about social boundaries and divisions within school.
  • 83 percent said the event helped students make new friends.
  • 79 percent said as a result of the Day students have heightened sensitivity towards tolerance and social justice issues.
  • 78 percent said as a result of the Day students seem more comfortable interacting with different kinds of people.

Mix It Up launched in 2002, according to the organization’s website.