VRMS students share lunch, break barriers

FORT KENT, Maine — Students at Valley Rivers Middle School broke down social and racial barriers by having in-depth discussions with students from the University of Maine at Fort Kent for Mix-It-Up at Lunch Day on Sept. 11.

The event encourages students to sit with someone new in the cafeteria for just one day. 

“We are focusing on the interactions in the cafeteria for Mix-It-Up because that’s where a school’s social boundaries are most obvious,” said teacher Kara Beal. “Three students from the University of Maine at Fort Kent, shared their cultural backgrounds, how they overcome obstacles, and what practices they do to help keep them healthy inside and out.”

The students from UMFK and VRMS not only engaged in lively discussions surrounding their cultural differences, but also enjoyed time participating in athletic endeavors outside. Basketball, soccer, football and continued discussions could be seen around the field. 

“This was great! Can we do this again?” asked one eighth-grade student. 

“I loved hearing about how different their upbringing was,” stated Lyndsey. 

These were just a few comments teachers heard after the lunch hour, which also elicited some huge smiles.

Mix-It-Up at Lunch will occur with athletes and students from the university once a month.  The ultimate goal is to have discussions about one’s cultural differences and overcoming biased behaviors from others. 

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