The guide, titled LGBTQ Education for Awareness, Recognition and Nondiscrimination Toolkit, is available in both an online and hard-copy format for use by middle and high schools and other entities interested in LGBT youth work.
The toolkit includes research and statistics on LGBT youth, as well as videos and printable posters for classroom use. It is designed for teachers, administrators, students and community groups.
Its development was spearheaded by 38 young people involved with The Attic’s summer-service program. They spent six weeks brainstorming the guide’s direction, researching the information presented and designing its implementation.
“The youth wanted to do something really practical,” said Attic executive director Carrie Jacobs. “They were looking to make a guide that could give a lot of information, a lot of ideas on how our schools can be made safer.”
The youth divided into working groups to focus on different aspects of the project. The group conceived of the name of the toolkit and also its logo.
Not all of the young people involved identified as LGBT, which Jacobs said was important, as the guide seeks to reach out to the ally community.
A panel of 15 youth interns will continue to develop and update the project and advocate for the toolkit within the School District. The Attic is also looking to provide training to some schools on how to optimize the toolkit.
“When we did our showcase at the end of the summer, there were a number of teachers there who were really interested in the toolkit, and we’ve gotten a number of calls about it, asking how it can best be used,” she said. “So we’re going to do an assessment to see what’s happening in these schools and whether the educators can use the toolkit themselves or if we should go out and do a training first through our Bryson Institute.”
Right now, the toolkit can be found at The Attic’s new website, which went live earlier this month.
The redesign was handled by Message Agency.
Jacobs said the new site is an easy-to-use, comprehensive tool that marks the first “real” site the agency has had since it launched nearly two decades ago.
“This website really lets the public know what we’re doing at The Attic,” she said. “It lets young people know what we’re doing. It’s inviting to young people. And it lets donors know what’s going on and the ways in which they can support us. Our old site didn’t do a very good job of communicating all that happens at The Attic, but I think this new website brings that attention. We mostly want to reach young people so that they all know we’re here for them and we can provide the support and services they need.”
For more information, visit www.atticyouthcenter.org.