Amador Mixes it up at Lunch to Promote Inclusion

Freshman students at Amador Valley High School participated in the second annual Mix It Up at
Lunch Day on October 13, 2017 to identify, question, and cross social boundaries. Organized
through the Amador Student SEED organization and LINK program, the event was coordinated
by Nicole Zhang, a senior at AVHS and led by Mix It Up Leaders.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day encouraged students to move out of their comfort zones and connect
with someone new over lunch. It is a simple act with profound implications as studies have
shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misconceptions fall away. Each year, this event aims to improve intergroup relations and support positive school experiences for students at AVHS.

“It is a privilege to get to advise an event that fosters building relationships on the Amador
Valley campus. I love Nicole's vision and tradition that she has built for the freshman classes as
well as the upperclassmen through Mix it Up at Lunch Day. I believe when students are involved
and feel accepted on campus they will thrive both personally and academically,” said Mary
Scavone, the advisor of Mix It Up at Lunch Day and a PE teacher at AVHS.

On the day of the event, Mix It Up Leaders went to third period classes to give freshmen name
tags with random group assignments. The leaders then guided freshmen to the gyms where they
sat with peers who they typically do not sit with during lunch. Mix It Up Leaders facilitated
conversations in the groups and played games with the freshmen, so it did not take long for
students to start breaking down social barriers. Amador and District administrators and staff
members attended the event to show their support.

“Freshmen benefit from this event because they are able to meet other classmates they wouldn’t
normally meet. They also have the opportunity to ask upperclassmen for advice that could guide
them through high school,” said Bridget O’Sullivan, a senior at Amador and the coordinator of
the LINK program.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is one of many efforts at AVHS to build a more inclusive school
community. Following this event, the LINK program will continue to help freshmen transition
from middle school to high school while the Amador Student SEED organization will continue
its efforts to promote acceptance at Amador by organizing the annual Donversity celebration in
the spring.

Nicole Zhang, President of Amador Student SEED shares, “I enjoy coordinating this event
because I can see the positive difference that it makes on campus by promoting inclusion and
acceptance. Through meeting new people, students realize that we all have so much in common
and that our differences make us stronger.”