The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program started the event in 2002, and TCMS teacher Debra Jenkins began leading the school’s participation in 2003. The only year the school didn’t participate was 2005. According to Tolerance.org, millions of students from more than 10,000 schools participated in the event on Nov. 13.
Jenkins has received help organizing the event at TCMS from another teacher, Vicki Likens. This year, Jim Garnett also asked members of the academic team to help out. At the 11:30 lunch last Tuesday, academic team members Alex Carr, Samantha Harper, Danielle Jergens and Tyler Knight handed “Wildcat paws” of various colors. Students were supposed to sit at a table that corresponded with their color. The idea behind this was that students would be forced to sit with students they wouldn’t normally sit with, and they would get to know them better. To help them, a list of questions, such as, “What is your favorite movie?” and, “What would you do if you ruled the world?” was placed at each table to break the ice.
“It helps kids cross social boundaries,” Garnett said. “They’ll hopefully have positive interactions when it gets them out of their social circle. Because they’re going to need that skill when they get into the business world.”
When asked what he liked about Mix It Up at Lunch Day, sixth grade student Kullen Garner said, “It’s fun because I get to learn about new people.”
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.