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Schools 'Mix it Up' for diversity

Activities emphasize individuality, unity, culture, teamwork

Posted: November 10, 2008 8:43 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2008 4:55 a.m.

Bowman High School students Luis Victorio, Buster Robertson and LaNees Gerguson put a puzzle together for Mix It Up Day while Stacey Weatherman and Rosa Villanueva supervise.

Schools across the William S. Hart Union High School District will be participating in programs designed to take them beyond their established social groups in annual "Mix it Up Day" activities this week.

Most schools in the district will be hosting activities Thursday or Friday this week, while others have scheduled multi-day activities or have selected other days according to their own schedules.

"This will be our district's fourth year of participation in the national observance of Mix It Up day," said Greg Lee, the Hart district's diversity coordinator. "We join millions of students across the country in focusing our attention on breaking out of social confines to learn more about each other. Many students who do Mix It Up go on to form genuine friendships with people that they might not otherwise get to know at all."

Bowman High School was the first to conduct its diversity programs on Nov. 7. Classes completed individual puzzle pieces decorated with photos of diverse populations clipped from magazines.

All of the puzzle pieces, from both morning and afternoon classes, were assembled in the quad to create a full-size montage. The activities focused on the idea that each individual is only one part of the picture, and it takes everyone connected together to represent the school's true character.

Placerita Junior High has scheduled a three-day activity using clothing to emphasize different aspects of diversity. White T-shirts on Wednesday will represent unification of the entire student body, sports jerseys on Thursday will demonstrate how sports bring people together from around the world and Tie Dye Friday will represent a total mix of cultures. Activities at lunch and brunch will invite students to mix with those outside their normal social groups.

Students at Rio Norte Junior High will arrive at school on Friday to find 1,400 Post-It Notes on the walls around the quad, listing students' names and a number. Students find their own names and then "connect" with four other students based on their randomly assigned number.

Rio Norte ASB student leaders will conduct diversity activities in Advisory class during the morning. A three-legged race at lunchtime will demonstrate the need for people to work together to reach a common goal.

Students at Canyon and Valencia high schools will participate in a mix-it-up competition on Thursday and Friday, respectively, using Popsicle sticks. As students match up their randomly marked sticks into teams, they make new acquaintances and claim a prize for their efforts.

West Ranch High School will celebrate Mix It Up Day Friday with music and group dances at lunchtime.

On the Valencia campus of College of the Canyons, students at Academy of the Canyons and Early College High School will enjoy Mix It Up activities on Friday.

AOC students will celebrate with international cuisine and a display of flags from around the world. Early College students will be participating in an ice breaker activity designed to get the school's freshmen and sophomores better acquainted.


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