Teaching Tolerance Recognizes 63 Schools for Tolerance Efforts

Apr 09, 2013, 10:00 ET from Southern Poverty Law Center

Southern Poverty Law Center Project Names Mix It Up Model Schools

MONTGOMERY, Ala., April 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance project named 63 schools across the nation as Mix It Up Model Schools today for their exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among their students and throughout campus during the 2012-13 school year.

The schools named today held Teaching Tolerance's signature event, Mix It Up at Lunch Day, which encourages students to sit with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day. They also followed up with additional events that encouraged students to cross social boundaries and be more inclusive and understanding throughout the school year. These model schools will be featured on the Teaching Tolerance website as examples for other schools.

A list of the model schools can be found at http://www.tolerance.org/mix-it-up/model-schools.

"We commend these schools for finding innovative ways to create an environment where respect and inclusiveness are core values," said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. "Though these schools vary in size and come from different regions of the country, they all serve as great examples of how a school – any school – can instill these values in their students, faculty and staff."

In addition to hosting Mix It Up, these model schools followed up with at least two programs or events on campus during the school year that reinforced the Mix It Up message; included various groups from the school community in the planning and implementation; took a multimedia approach to publicity; and reported that students enjoyed the day.

Teaching Tolerance's Mix It Up at Lunch Day program began in 2002. It seeks to break down the barriers between students so there are fewer misunderstandings that can lead to conflicts, bullying and harassment. An estimated 5,000 schools participated in the 2012 event. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some schools use the event to kick off a yearlong exploration of social divisions.

The 2013 Mix It Up at Lunch Day will be held on Oct. 29. Teaching Tolerance offers an array of free online resources to help school groups and teachers explore the issue of social boundaries and plan their event. Each school sets its own agenda and chooses its own theme.

Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation's children. The program reaches hundreds of thousands of educators and millions of students annually through its Teaching Tolerance magazine, multimedia teaching kits, online curricula, professional development resources and classroom-friendly social justice documentaries. These materials are provided to educators at no cost.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama with offices in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, is a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of society. For more information, see


SOURCE Southern Poverty Law Center