Community Conversation: Welcoming Schools
Last month, Welcoming Schools held an incredible webinar about creating inclusive schools for LGBTQI families. If you missed out on it, you can catch the PowerPoint HERE. Also, please read on for what we learned from being a part of the live conversation!
Welcoming Schools is a project of the Human Rights Campaign that works to improve schools to meet the needs of underrepresented family structures through trainings, lessons (congruent with common core) and other resources. This organization has a strong leaning toward serving families with LGBTQI members within it.
As a queer educator, I am a big fan of this organization and what they are doing and I always try to stay informed of and participate in events and trainings that they provide. This particular webinar was a great way to be a part of the conversation with the convenience of staying home (it’s like they know parents who like to tune in may have a lot on their plates).
I had the chance to sit back and enjoy a resource rich presentation that focused on these Five Steps to Creating an inclusive school:
- Organize a family night
- Host a PTA Movie night
- Practice responding to children’s questions and capitalize on teachable moments
- Share lesson plans with your child’s teachers
- Recommend picture books inclusive of all kinds of families
The Welcoming Schools webpage has detailed descriptions and suggestions for each of the five steps.
Along with these five steps, here are some great quick lists that were provided:
- Best Books to Build LGBTQ Inclusive Lessons:
- The great big book of families (k-2)
- What is a family? Using children’s books to Explore the Meaning of Family (k-3)
- Tree of Caring: Alternative Family Tree Activities (k-3) (This is a book that supports that family is not limited to biology, and is inclusive of care takers and all those that a child may consider family.)
- Personal Narratives to Explore Family and Learn More About One Another (4-6)
Inclusive Family Picture books:
- Good Child
- Antonio’s Card
- And Tango Makes Three
- The Family Book
At the conclusion of the presentation, the webinar moved into a Q&A portion, which above all else reminded me that we are not alone. Many participants talked about struggles they faced advocating for their families or families they supported, and each concern was met with resources, support, and compassion.
The community conversation is alive and well – I will be sure to share information of the next webinar and hope to virtually see you all there.
Skye Bigari is an educator, community organizer and regular contributor to Fertility Source Companies LGBT blog
Email Skye at: [email protected]