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WHS students mix it up at lunch

ana anthony/daily globe A group of students is shown during Mix It Up at Lunch Day at Worthington High School.

WORTHINGTON -- Colored balloons were attached to each table at the Worthington High School cafeteria.

As students streamed in, some looked slightly confused. It was Mix It Up at Lunch Day, where students learned about joining more than 2 million others nation-wide who made an effort to sit with someone new at lunch.

"This year is really unique because we're doing at the high school," said Nobles County Integration Collaborative (NCIC) Youth Coordinator Lakeyta Potter. "It hasn't been done here for a long time."

Organized as a joint effort between student organization Dynamic 507 from the collaborative and Students against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Mix It Up at Lunch day is intended to break the social barriers that make students feel comfortable, Potter added.

"The more people you know, the less threatened you'll feel," explained SADD adviser Jan Larson.

Students had their hands marked with colored pens and found their place at tables with corresponding balloon colors. Members of Dynamic 507 and SADD assisted NCIC staff at the lunch hour activity.

"In our school, I see a lot of cliques," said Dynamic 507 member Valeria Cano. "The same people sit at the same table everyday."

SADD student leader Jenny Majerus played "three truths and one lie" with her peers to break the ice. Ninth-grader Shawn Hillesheim said he did not know anyone at their table except for one person.

"I usually sit with a friend and my two brothers," he said. "I think this might work -- maybe next time at lunch, people will sit with someone they met from Mix It Up day."

In previous years, Mix It Up was facilitated at the middle school, but Potter said she felt that there was a need to revive Mix It Up at WHS.

"I know it is much needed at the high school," she said. "It's important for us to continue Mix It Up day at the high school."