LGBTQI+ children and youth especially need spaces where they can express themselves freely and be seen for who they truly are, as well as spaces where they can have positive relationships with their peers and supportive adults. Organizations that work with children and youth, such as libraries and early childcare providers, want to create welcoming and affirming spaces for all young people. This is especially important for LGBTQI+ children and youth who often face discrimination which can lead to challenges participating in programs and other services that provide essential nurturing and support. We wanted to start by increasing knowledge around LGBTQI+ youth needs and experiences, as well as terminology.
In this project, Green Peak Alliance sponsors workshops for schools and other “third space” providers in order to create more inclusive environments for LGBTQI+ children, youth, and families. Green Peak Alliance is partnering with Think Again Training who is leading the workshops. Organizations that participate in the training also receive ongoing support for implementing new approaches and policies.
Green Peak Alliance Partners: Mount Ascutney Prevention Partnership
2020 – Present
Since its inception, three trainings have been offered to libraries, youth service providers, and early childcare providers. The following organizations participated in the training:
Libraries: Windsor Public Library, Hartland Public Library, Springfield Town Library, Whiting Library (Chester), Norman Williams Public Library (Woodstock), Kimball Public Library (Randolph), Burr and Burton Academy Library (Manchester), Hartford MS/HS Library, Latham Library (Thetford), Winhall Memorial Library, Manchester Community Library, White River School
Youth Service Providers: Creative Lives, Northern Stage, Hanover Norwich Schools, Springfield Turning Point, Central Vermont Supervisory Union, River Valley Technical Center
Early childcare providers – The Children’s Place/Northwoods – Windsor/Hartford Head Start, Springfield Area Parent Child Center
Of the survey responses, a strong percentage agree/strongly agree that “this training will help me be more inclusive in my work.” One respondent stated, “As much as I embrace the concept of inclusivity, this workshop helped me gain the skills and understanding to better accomplish it. I left feeling reoriented and liberated in relation to my understanding to better accomplish it. I left feeling reoriented and liberated in relation to my own journey of healthy identity and galvanized to continue ‘thinking again’ through further study and personal/professional transformation.”
Another response was that the training, “gave me so much to think about and so many ideas for making my library more inclusive.”