ODS is a Mix It Up Model School!

Odyssey Day School Recognized for Inclusion Efforts

Designated ‘Mix It Up’ Model School by the Southern Poverty Law Center

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program has named Odyssey Day School as a Mix It Up Model School for its exemplary efforts to foster respect and understanding among its students and throughout its campus during the 2016-17 school year.

Odyssey Day School is among 76 schools to receive the honor.

“We commend Odyssey for finding innovative ways to create environments where respect and inclusiveness are core values,” said Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. “Though Model Schools vary in size and demographics, they all serve as great examples of how a school—any school—can cultivate these values among their students, faculty and staff.”

The Teaching Tolerance program has hosted Mix It Up at Lunch Day for the past 15 years to help students demonstrate the importance of respecting each other’s differences. The 2017 event will be held on October 31.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a simple call to action. By asking students to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch, the event encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. Many schools plan activities for the entire day, and some use the event to kick off yearlong explorations of social divisions.

The Mix It Up Model Schools met five criteria: They each hosted a Mix it Up at Lunch Day during the 2016-17 school year; they included different members of the school’s community—cafeteria staff, aides, administrators, teachers and students—in organizing the event; they followed up with at least two additional Mix It Up-related programs or events on campus; they publicized Mix It Up at Lunch Day or celebrated inclusiveness with posters, announcements and other media; and their event was seen by students and school officials as a success.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Montgomery, Ala., is a nonprofit civil rights organization that combats bigotry and discrimination through litigation, education and advocacy.  For more information, see www.splcenter.org.

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