Since 2010, we’ve seen the positive impact that our organization’s mission and message can have on the lives of LGBTQ+ youth. It Gets Better EDU exists to take that one step further, to ensure that the stories crafted and collected by the It Gets Better Project reach LGBTQ+ youth wherever learning takes place — in classrooms, in club meetings, in online zoom calls, and more. We do this by offering educators and students leaders easy-to-access and easy-to-use resources, information, and more.
Why the focus on education?
According to The 2017 National School Climate Survey by the GLSEN Research Institute, schools need four things in order to be safe and inclusive places for LGBTQ+ youth:
- Supportive educators.
- LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum.
- Inclusive and supportive policies
- Supportive students clubs, such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).
Speaking of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum, the FAIR Education Act went into effect in California (USA) in 2012. It mandates that all K-12 history and social studies curriculum in the state include references to the contributions of members of the LGBTQ+ community to our world today. Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey have passed similar laws since, as did Scotland (UK) in 2018. These are some of the first laws of their kind anywhere in the world, and we hope they pave the way for many more to come.
As a storytelling organization, the It Gets Better Project is ready to take part in that global progress. Our LGBTQ+ stories – whether they come in the form of videos, films, or books – have the unique power to uplift, empower, and connect young people in addition to being educational and media-based. They have a unique role to play in classrooms and other youth spaces the world over, particularly when they feature aspects of LGBTQ+ history.
What kind of work does the program focus on?
Our education staff is working to make it easier to introduce our best LGBTQ+ stories to your youth audiences. Whether you’re an educator yourself – or a student leader, counselor, community leader, parent, or friend – we’ve got something for you:
MATERIALS. We have an expanding portfolio of original EduGuides now available. These are free-to-download materials that accompany some of our best content. They’re full of tips and tricks, discussion questions, activities, and more that make sharing our LGBTQ+ stories and themes a cinch. If you’re up to the task, you can even use these guides to host your own events, for small to large audiences both on- and offline. To learn how, watch the video below.
RESOURCES. We also provide LGBTQ+ youth with an array of up-to-date, online information about their communities. For example, at itgetsbetter.org/GetHelp, young people can access a database that features over 1100 organizations in 40+ countries offering support to LGBTQ+ youth. That database is searchable by location and resource type. We also provide information that helps young people stay in-the-know on topics important to the LGBTQ+ community in general like our LGBTQ+ Glossary.
To learn more about It Gets Better EDU, check out itgetsbetter.org/education.