Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making Schools Safer in Colorado Springs

Thank you to all of our PFLAGers who attended the Cultivating Respect Safe Schools training and a special thanks to Marilyn Davis, who put in many hours planning and preparing for the event. Lastly, a big thanks to Jean Hodges, our devoted Regional Director, for sharing her expertise in safe schools work.

Cultivating Respect, the PFLAG safe schools training, took place on Saturday April 4th at Care and Share Warehouse in Colorado Springs. We had an amazing group of concerned parents, safe schools activist and academic professionals in attendance.

The training started with the art of storytelling, making the most of one's personal story to further the goal of bringing resources and programs into schools. We took time to look at the most recent statistics and news stories on what students are facing in school so we can use them to get the attention of school decision makers. We had a chance to explore language, and what terminology works and what does not when talking to school personnel. The participants had plenty of opportunities to role play and practice their skills.

At the end of the training members of the Colorado Coalition of PFLAG Chapters worked on developing a potential project aimed at school libraries based on one of our training modules.

The Smart Books for Smart Students Campaign is aimed to place books in schools libraries, fiction and nonfiction, that have accurate and positive information about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The campaign is just the first step in building relationships and trust with administrative personnel. We hope this relationship will continue to grow and help advance safe schools advocacy.

Once again, a big thanks to all Coloradan PFLAG Chapters in attendance!

If you would like more information about Cultivating Respect Safe Schools training please contact Suzanne Greenfield, Safe Schools Senior Coordinator at sgreenfield@pflag.org.

- Cesar Hernandez

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