Once a year, students at Hamilton Middle School in Montana are handed a lollipop as they walk into their school’s lunch room. The flavors such as orange, cotton candy, cherry, and root beer are assigned to tables in the room. Students sit at their lollipop flavor’s table to be with new faces rather than their usual friends. Eighth grade student leaders are assigned a group to guide table talk discussions. They ask questions and keep the tone positive, respectful, and friendly.
The idea behind this annual event began with the Middle School Leadership Team as a way to encourage students to branch out and build relationships with others they don’t normally hang out with. Their “Mix It Up” lunch has proven to be a successful way to help students step out of their comfort zones and expand their connections with others.
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