Your most asked questions, answered here!
Q: Where can I find resources?
A: There aren't that many out there. We are working to change that! For now, you can check out the blog posts we wrote on our website about how to start a rainbow club, and how to organize your meetings. We will continue to share what we do and create resources!
Q: Any tips on how to present to resistant admin?
A: 1. Do your research and be prepared. Bring data!
2. If possible, check in with some families you know will be supportive. It could make a difference to have some families already ready to root for you and the club.
3. Be willing to compromise on some things (the name, the location, whether or not families can be there, how people are invited, etc.)
4. Focus on this club being a supportive community and a proactive and preventative strategy to address gender based bullying and build respect for families. Resistance will probably come from adults focused on sexuality and sexual orientation and conflating that with gender identity and expression. Use resources from Gender Spectrum (found here) and Welcoming Schools (found here) to practice rephrasing and addressing these concerns.
5. Show up with a plan for the first couple sessions. Bring any books, games, activities. Resistance also comes from fear.
Q: How do you discuss with the school admin the need for, and benefit of such a club?
A: We would frame it as an important part of your school's equity work or anti-bullying work. Students learn best when they feel safe, supported and seen. A Rainbow Club creates a place where students can safely explore their identity. You can look up statistics about the amount a GSA reduces bullying at the middle and high school level and share that information as well (https://www.glsen.org/).
Q: How do you handle pushback from ignorant parents?
A: We always go back to these documents from Gender Spectrum and Welcoming Schools:
Q: Where do you source curriculum or ideas?
A: We've been using the Gender Inclusive Classrooms Curriculum Guide that we created. This has helped us have a monthly "theme" for each meeting and pick the right read alouds and activities. I also make sure to look ahead at holidays/celebrations/days of awareness so that we can address these in the club.
Q: How do you advertise and get the word out?
A: Our students made posters and we hung them around the school. We also advertised in the school newsletter to families. Finally, we made morning announcements at our morning circle.
Q: What's the youngest age kiddo you have in it? Wanting to start one but not sure of age groups to include.
A: We do just one meeting for everyone, K-5! We keep the content age-appropriate and focus on play and read alouds. Families are also invited, which makes it feel like a community. We focus on families, identity and respect.
Q: How do you promote discussion without just telling?
A: We are using read alouds to start discussions. We aren't focused on it being didactic, just a place to build community. At this pint we are just responding to the book, but later we might use sentence stems to have conversations, or we might talk about current events as a group. We will keep you posted on how it progresses!