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Harrison Students Reach Out on 'Mix it Up' Day

HARRISON, N.Y. - Louis M. Klein Middle School Assistant Principal Brian Seligman took some extra time to work before, during and after school with students this month to encourage more social connectivity at school. They worked to plan activities and conversation starters in conjunction with the Oct. 18 Teaching Tolerance's National Mix it Up Day.

"Although some students have been encouraged to participate, most have done so because of their desire to be a part of our school community and do something of value," Seligman said.

LMK sixth graders and Harrison High School ninth graders were part of the events, pushing students to go outside their comfort zones and meet new people during lunch. According to Teaching Tolerance, the cafeteria is where the largest dividing lines are drawn.

Nearly 80 eighth graders helped out during the sixth grade lunch period, the school said.

Students received a card as they entered the cafeteria designating them to a candy table. Some students were Jolly Ranchers or M&M's, and others were Milky Ways or other well-known treats. Once students got their lunches, the eighth graders engaged their tables in introductions and interactive questions.

Cathy Rogers-Ganns, one of the ninth grade teachers involved in the day, said the high school also participated in the activities.

"Mix It Up Day was organized by the ninth grade team in an effort to foster team building, as well as raise awareness for the need to create an inclusive community," Rogers-Ganns said.

The ninth grade students were randomly divided into groups and students from the same grade's literacy coach Dom Zanot's Advanced Placement economics classes and members of The Friends of Rachel Club helped in facilitating seating and conversations.

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