Lunch at Auburn Middle School was always a time when people sat with their friends, had lunch and talked. It was always people segregated into their groups and nobody really brought down the big wall that separated people into their own little worlds. Could we change where people sat for one single day at AMS?

On Nov. 15, AMS experienced Mix It Up Lunch. Mix It Up Lunch is a time when people sit with other people they don’t usually talk to or sit with usually. The way it happens is that you pick a buddy to sit with (so you would at least know somebody) then when you enter the cafeteria you are given a sticker and you go to the table that matched your sticker.

Mix It Up Lunch, “…helps build community within the school” says seventh grade teacher Mrs. Lynn Derderian.

I also asked a 7th grade student what she thought and she said, “It was okay; it could have been better. It wasn’t too organized and I knew everybody at my table, so I didn’t get to meet new people.”

I asked Civil Rights Team member teacher Ms Judy Gowell-Gosselin if the Civil Rights Team members thought it was successful or not and she said, “There was feedback about people not liking the fact they had to sit with people they didn’t know.”

Mix It Up Lunch is a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Tolerance Program and the Study Circles Resource. The way Mix It Up Lunch got started was that people listened to young adults about how hard it is to fit in with all the groups there are in school. The Mix It Up organization says it “believes in the power of youth to create and sustain real change.”

To learn more about the program go to

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