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Jackson Elementary lauded for "mixing it up"

May 07, 2015 | Community Relations
mup at jackson
Former Chicago Bear Anthony Oakley signs autographs during Jackson Elementary School’s Mix It Up Lunch.

Gonzales and Oakley
Anthony Oakley and Jackson Elementary Principal Deana Gonzales.

Jackson Elementary is one of only 104 schools in the nation to be named a 2014-2015 “Mix It Up Model School.”

Jackson Elementary received the designation for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students during the school year. 

Mix It Up Model Schools embrace respect and inclusiveness as core values—they “mix it up” all year long. These schools have done an exemplary job of organizing, publicizing and implementing Mix It Up at Lunch Day. By sharing their recipes for success, Model Schools are beacons for other schools striving for inclusiveness.

Mix It Up Model Schools have to meet five criteria: 

1. Host a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2014-15 school year; 
2. Include different members of the school’s community — cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students — in organizing the event; 
3. Follow up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; 
4. Publicizing Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrate inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and 
5. Their event was seen by students and school officials as a success. 

Jackson’s theme was “One Team, One Dream.” At one event, staff, students and parents wore sports gear and sat at one of six different sports-themed tables. Former Chicago Bear Anthony Oakley even stopped in for a surprise visit, encouraging students to be kind and make new friends.

Mix It Up Model Schools is part of the Teaching Tolerance program of the Southern Poverty Law Center.