HULL — Principal Anthony Hrivnak is pleased to share that Memorial Middle School hosted its first Mix It Up at Lunch Day on Friday, Feb. 14 to help promote inclusivity and break down social barriers among students.
School Adjustment Counselor Rebecca MacDonald and School Nurse Sharon Striglio encouraged teachers and staff to get their students thinking about their family heritage through a survey and discussion questions for each advisory class. Then, at each grade level lunch period, the students sat with others that they normally do not sit with. There were discussion questions on each lunch table and students were encouraged to share stories.
To celebrate different heritages, students shared family recipes and cultural foods brought in by parents, including homemade breads, Japanese beef bowls, muffins and desserts. The students listened to music of different cultures, marked where their families came from on a large map in the cafeteria and made posters about the countries of their heritage. Students and staff also wore mixed up outfits as part of the day.
Seventh grade students Jonas Whelan and Monica DelGuidice, along with a few classmates, went around their lunch table and shared their heritage with the others.
“I wish we could do this every day, or every Friday, or at least once a year,” Whelan said.
“It is interesting to sit and eat with different people and try new things,” DelGuidice added.
Students were also encouraged to join Memorial Middle School’s new Diversity Club, which will begin soon and will meet during enrichment class.
The lunch ended with ice cream sundaes while the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) Read-a-Thon winners were announced.
“The goal of the Mix It Up at Lunch Day was for students to identify some of the social boundaries of their own school and community and take action to begin to break down those boundaries,” Principal Hrivnak said. “I want to commend Ms. MacDonald and Ms. Striglio for the work they put into coordinating this event, and it was great to see the students and staff embracing the activities.”
Mix It Up at Lunch Day was inspired by the free Teaching Tolerance film “The Children’s March” and ties into the Memorial School Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) goals.