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Walnut valley Unified School District

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Evergreen Named National Mix It Up Model School

NEWS                                                                                        Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 3, 2012                                                                             Walnut, CA 91789

Contact:         
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
kgile@walnutvalley.k12.ca.us
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204


Evergreen Named National Mix It Up Model School

DIAMOND BAR, CA—Evergreen Elementary School has been named a National Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among students throughout the campus.

Evergreen Student Council members created conversation starters that made their Mix It Up at Lunch Day held on October 18 a huge success. Other events, like a student rally, continue to remind students of the importance of acceptance.

Evergreen Elementary is one of 77 schools from across the country receiving the honor.

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program announced the 2011-12 school year recognitions on April 3. The non-profit civil rights organization is based in Montgomery, Alabama.

The goal of National Mix it Up Day is to promote making new friends and school involvement.

Principal Dr. Don Trimmer said the youngsters were assigned to tables according to the month they were born in. November births at one, October another, etc.

"Instead of sitting with the same friends at lunch, they got to meet other students," Trimmer noted.

Student leaders started discussions with questions like `What's your favorite food?' and `What would you do on a day off school?’

“It was the perfect opportunity for students to make new friends, discover what they had in common, and learn about each other,” he said.

"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,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello.

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. Last year, 5,500 schools took part in the event.

The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day in 2011; they included different members of the school's community – cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers or students – in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success.

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.

Shown:

Evergreen students made new friends at the Mix it Up at Lunch Day.