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Santa Clarita Valley schools celebrate diversity today

Students Mix It Up at school

Posted: November 11, 2009 12:02 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2009 12:11 p.m.
 

Students in the Wm. S. Hart Union High School District are finding ways to break outside their social groups and make new friends during Mix It Up activities on campuses across the valley this week.

While Wednesday, Nov. 10, is official Mix It Up Day in the Hart District, several schools have scheduled activities across several days or on alternative days during the week.

La Mesa Junior High School has the most energetic program, extending over a three-day period starting Nov. 10 and wrapping up on Friday, Nov. 13.

The kick-off event is called "Where Ya From?" in which students come up on stage during lunch time and get a flag from their "home" to place on a large map of the world.

Thursday, the school will have a "March of the Flags" in which students from the PEACE class will carry flags from around the world around the quad.

The week ends with a Mix It Up Scavenger Hunt on Friday, with randomly selected teams of seven students racing around the campus looking for letters that spell Mix It Up.

Sierra Vista Junior High also started the event earlier this week, with students writing on red paper "bricks" about stories of injustices they have experienced over the years.

The bricks were built into a wall on the school's outdoor stage, and students are tearing down the "wall" on Tuesday by taking a brick during brunch. Students will share the story on their "brick" during their RELAX reading period.

Rio Norte Junior High also is scheduling a multi-day Mix It Up event. Starting Tuesday morning, students must find their names on post-it notes attached to walls around the quad, then locate other students according to clues.

During homeroom, some teachers will present lessons on communicating with those with whom you disagree.

At lunch on Tuesday, students will compete in three-legged races to demonstrate the theme of working together to accomplish a goal.

The week started with a Mix It Up themed video announcement on Monday morning and will conclude with a "Name That Tune" Mix It Up game in homerooms on Friday.

The Mix It Up program at West Ranch has been developed by students in the school's Yes I Can program, which promotes ties between special needs students and general education students.

Yes I Can students have worked two weeks on a series of activities to promote respect and inclusion among all students.

Valencia High School's ASB student government will run a human scavenger hunt by passing out a class set of popsicle sticks during third period on Tuesday.

Students then will have to find the person who has the popsicle stick with the identical word on it. The first 20 pairs to bring their matching sticks to the ASB office will win prizes.

Teachers also are encouraged to rearrange class seating for the day or spend 15 minutes of class doing a first-day-of-school introduction activity.

Tuesday is Jersey Day at Placerita Junior High, with students encouraged to wear their favorite sports jersey. The school's two lunch periods will be combined into one so all 940 of the school's students can participate in Mix It Up activities together.

After playing games and hosting discussions based on the jerseys, eighth graders will demonstrate several line dances and then teach them to seventh graders. Placerita will actually extend Mix It Up activities for the full month, with spirit days and brunch activities to encourage students to reach beyond their regular social groups.

Hart High School will set up tables in four corners of the quad and challenge students to find someone who likes the same thing they like. Once they have found a partner, they can go together to one of the four corners to claim a free popsicle.

Due to a crowded schedule this Tuesday, Golden Valley High School has opted to hold its Mix It Up Day on Friday, Nov. 13. Teams of two will receive a list of people to find-a senior on the basketball team, a freshman who was born in another state, etc. They will take a photo with the student, get his or her name on the list, and search for the next person. Teams will turn in their photos and lists and will receive prizes for the number of people they find and get to know.

Rancho Pico Junior High will hold its Mix It Up activity on Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Advisory period. Students will go to different sides of the classroom based on their answers to specific questions, take a few minutes to get to know students who responded the same way, then "mix it up" again with their preferences on the next question.

Canyon High School also will schedule its Mix It Up Day on Friday, Nov. 13, during lunch. Students will get into groups based on colored wrist bands, answer questions, and move to different stations.

Students at Saugus High School will receive letters of the alphabet (S,A,U and G) and must seek out enough students to spell "Saugus" during lunch. The first five groups to complete the name will win prizes. To get students to step outside their comfort zones, each grade will receive a different letter, so that groups will need to work with students at each grade level in order to win a prize.

Bowman High School will be doing People Bingo and handprint murals during second and sixth periods. Classes will meet in the quad at the end of each designated period to participate in the activities.

Sequoia Charter School also will be conducting activities during lunchtime on Tuesday.

"The idea of Mix It Up Day is to get students to step out of their comfort zones and meet other students with whom they aren't acquainted," explained Greg Lee, Hart District coordinator of diversity. "These are people they may see every day, but don't really make friends. We want them to realize that they have more in common with these other students than they may think."

Signal Intern William Ferguson contributed to this story.

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