The Grand Avenue Middle School Wellness Center hosted an event on Feb. 4 that involved the local organization PRIDE for Youth making a presentation on supporting/advocating for LGBTQ youth in schools.
“We like to make this a schoolwide discussion rather than limit it to just to GSA club. Hence this being offered through the Wellness Center,” said school psychologist Rachel Aguilar, a co-organizer of the event.
“We offer community education outreach programs tailored to middle and high schools, as well as colleges and can be presented to health classes and/or Gay Straight Alliance clubs,” explained Lauren McCarthy, a Pride for Youth social worker.
The Bellmore-based Pride for Youth organization offers youth/teen programming, social events, as well as counseling services – all of which are free and grant funded.
Aguilar and school counselor Joe Leverone coordinated the event.
“We are striving to make the Wellness Center a place that all students feel welcome, accepted and heard,” added Aguilar. “For that reason, hosting PRIDE for Youth at our Wellness Center was really important to us, as it was an opportunity to raise awareness and provide education on LGBTQ topics. We know kids thrive in environments where they feel safe and supported, and we hope events like this will help to make Grand Avenue Middle School a place all students feel they belong.”
Upcoming Wellness Center offerings include tackling topics that range from social-emotional wellness, to physical health and well-being overall.
“Next week we are talking about fitness and staying active, and in the spring, we plan to have therapy dogs visit our school again,” added Leverone.