Our Work in the Community
- Presentations for Elementary Schools: We have done presentations for many elementary schools and we make sure these are age appropriate and relevant. We focus mainly on building empathy by using a self-insert story that we read out loud. We go through the day of a student who has to deal with difficult friends, family, teacher, and bullies due to a comment they made about a same-gender TV character being cute. We leave it open-ended and have a great discussion about how it makes them feel if that were them, what a good friend/ally would do for this student, and how to make sure this story ends positively. We also provide lesson plans for elementary teachers about diversity and inclusion.
- Presentations for junior and senior high schools: this covers the terminology/language of LGBTQ2S+, what gender identity is and how it is not the same as what you are assigned at birth, statistics of LGBTQ2S+ students in schools (ie. rates of bullying, rates of feeling unsafe, etc.). We use the most relevant Canadian stats, including Alberta-specific ones. We also cover how to be a good ally/what allyship is, what to do when someone comes out to you/not to out people, and a question-and-answer period.
- If a school requests something more specific, we definitely do that too! We have done LGBTQ2S+ representation in the media and why it’s important, LGBTQ2S+ history, about GSAs and their importance, etc. We strongly believe that one size fits all approaches are not as effective and that the diversity of communities we serve require us to have diverse approaches to their needs, which applies to how we approach our educational work in schools.
- PD for teachers: we have done lots of PDs for teachers from elementary to senior high. We cover much of the same things as the student presentation, but with a deeper dive into inclusive policies, the legislation, GSAs, best practices. We offer a much lengthier question-and-answer period for teachers. Again, this is tailored for what the school requests to make sure we meet their needs!
- Presentations for parents: additionally, we have also done community and parent presentations. Again, much of the same material as above but with more of an emphasis on why GSAs and inclusive policies are important for all students (not just LGBTQ2S+ ones!). We make sure we are coming from a place of understanding and respect. We strongly advocate for supportive family relationships and we endeavor to support those families regardless of where they’re at with their journey.
- GSA support: we provide whatever supports a GSA feels as though they need. We can come in with our button maker and snacks and just let the students have a fun time, or we can help come up with activities or how to make a space safer. We also support teacher liaisons and Family School Liaison Workers with resources, consultations, and best practices. Again, we make sure to meet GSAs where they are at instead of pushing them towards a standard. Safety is our number one priority.
- Supportive Parents: our new website that is for parents looking for resources. There will be articles written by parents for parents, a resource and programs list across the province, etc. We also have an annual conference for these parents to meet one another and learn from our panels of parents, youth, and teachers.