NEWS Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 880 S. Lemon Avenue
October 29, 2012 Walnut, CA 91789
Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204
Vejar Elementary Mixes It Up at Lunch
WALNUT, CA—Vejar Elementary students were a little mixed up on October 30.
They came to school in mismatched socks and shoes, wore shirts backwards, donned sparkly ties, and used pajama bottoms as hats.
For the 2nd annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day, the children were encouraged to wear mixed up clothes and sat with different students during lunch, said Principal Jennifer De Anda.
The event was held to promote a bully free campus.
Students in grades 1-5 sat at mixed up tables and ate lunch with kids they don’t usually sit with.
While they munched on sandwiches, yogurt, fried chicken and mashed potatoes, the kids had a chance to get to know each other using conversation starters written on wooden sticks.
“Our students got to find out that while each person is unique, we all have a lot more in common than we think,” De Anda said.
Students were grouped at tables according to their birth month – which helped teach them that they already one thing they had in common.
Teachers were on hand to support the discussions in the lunch area where music was played to promote a fun friendly atmosphere.
Teacher Janine De Vera said kids at her table with February birthdays had been using the conversation starters and asking and lots of questions.
“They’ve been talking more than they’ve been eating!”
Second grader Frederick Chiu said the most interesting thing he learned was that Kristin Lam is on a swim team and has won eight trophies.
De Anda said they decided to tie the anti-bullying event with “I Elect to Be Drug Free” Red Ribbon Week activities.
Third graders Tyler McArthur, Rachel Alarcon, and Kiersten Hubbard learned they share July birthdays - but they were more interested in one of the conversation starter questions about their favorite video game.
“I like Mario Brothers Smash Brothers.”
“I play on Play Station,” said another student.
At the August birthday table fourth grader Xavier Alvarado asked his tablemates “How do you spend your weekend?”
“Playing and doing my homework,” said Eddie Perez.
“I play with friends all day,” added Brian Feng.
“If you were a superhero what power would you have?” asked Mrs. De Anda while visiting with third grade students grouped with August birthdays.
“I would be invisible and fly,” said Anthony Burke
“I would have a lot of strength,” added Jamie Gonzalez.
“What is your favorite TV show and which character do you like?” asked third grader Valerie Landeros to her new lunch mates at the September birthday table.
4th grader Laila Sultan quickly answered “SpongeBob!”
Another boy chimed into the conversation adding “Phineas and Ferb.”
Students were proud of their mixed up wardrobe creations.
Noah Torreyson sat at the September birthday table wearing a striped polo shirt backwards, plaid shorts, wild hair, and mismatched socks and shoes.
“I did it on purpose because it’s Mix It Up Day - and it’s fun!” he said about the crazy outfit.
The school’s 2nd annual Mix it Up event was coordinated by Counselor Patty Ma.
“It will be a success if it stops just one person from being bullied,” she said.
Rachel Alarcon thoughtfully answered a question asked by Tyler McArthur.
Eddie Perez listened to Xavier Alvarado ask a question at the August birthday table during the lunchtime event.
Students were eager to share their favorite superhero power with Principal Jennifer De Anda.
Noah Torreyson, wearing a mixed up outfit, read one of the questions on wooden sticks to help students get to know each other.
Title 1 Teacher Jeanette Koh joined students wearing mismatched clothing for Mix it Up at Lunch day.