Institute for Sexual Minority Studies & Services

fYrefly in Schools

fYrefly in Schools is an iSMSS educational initiative developed to help reduce discrimination against 2SLGBTQ+ youth, increase awareness of the impacts of homo/bi/transphobia, and equip students with the tools they need to become effective allies for diversity, equity, and human rights within their schools and communities.

 

Session Goals

  • Explore and engage with 2SLGBTQ+ terminology
  • Identify and analyze the effects of homophobic language
  • Debunk myths and stereotypes about LGBTQ people
  • Identify ways to act as an ‘ally’ [in support of 2SLGBTQ+ people and their rights]

 

fYrefly in Schools workshops are structured to fit one school block, for one class at a time. This session can be as short as 40 minutes or as long as 90 minutes, whatever duration may best fit your current school block. Each session will be lead by a professional facilitator who has gone through training at the University of Alberta, and is supervised by ISMSS' Education Coordinator. We incorporate interactive and experiential learning elements into our workshops, and for that reason, we are unable to present to more than one class at a time. However, we are happy to revisit your school for multiple sessions. When time and resources permit, we will bring youth panelists, who may choose to share their personal experiences and narratives as a member of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, or as an ally. fYrefly in schools DOES NOT offer sexual health education. This program focuses on 2SLGBTQ+  identities, equity, allyship and human rights.

 

fYrefly in Schools Rural Alberta 

fYrefly in Schools also offers workshops and sessions for municipals outside of the Edmonton and Calgary area. If you are interested in having a workshop for your school please contact our fYrefly in Schools Rural coordinator, Alexandra Marshall at Jam20@ualberta.ca.

 

  • What are some other goals of the fYrefly in Schools program?

    A key component of all fYrefly in Schools presentations is providing students with the opportunity to hear firsthand from a panel of peers who are sexual or gender minorities, self- identified allies who support sexual and gender minorities, and/or youth that have a family member who identifies as non-heterosexual. Along with providing a safe place for students to ask age-appropriate questions, the program’s activities enable students to learn from their peers about (1) the coming out experience and processes of self and familial acceptance; (2) consequences of homophobic and/or transphobic bullying and guidelines to promote safety and wellbeing; and (3) positive aspects about “being who they are” in the world and the importance of recognizing diversity and difference as fundamental aspects of our society.

    For further information, please contact:

    fYrefly in Schools
    C/O Camp fYrefly
    Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services
    7-104 Education North Building
    Faculty of Education | University of Alberta
    Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA | T6G 2G5
    fYreflys@ualberta.ca
    780-492-4909

  • What is fYrefly in Schools?

    fYrefly in Schools is an educational initiative developed to help reduce discrimination against sexual and gender minority youth, increase awareness of the impacts of homophobia and transphobia, and create safe and inclusive school environments for all students. The program is free and reflects the focus on safety stated in Section 45 of the provincial School Act. This requires all students in Alberta’s schools to be provided with a safe and caring environment where they do not experience discrimination based on personal characteristics including sexual orientation and gender identity. fYrefly in Schools is delivered to schools on a request basis, as resources of the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services permit. Designed for junior and senior high school students, fYrefly in Schools workshops are student- centred and activity-based to focus on personal and social development and comprehensive health. Workshops follow the peer-to-peer mentorship model of our award-winning summer leadership retreat, Camp fYrefly.

  • Who facilitates fYrefly in Schools workshops and how are they structured?

    Trained and experienced educators facilitate fYrefly in Schools workshops, which range from 40 – 80 minutes in length. Each session consists of a number of targeted activities that address the following themes: Awareness, De-stigmatization, Humanization, and Empowerment. Through a series of student-centred activities, these interactive workshops are designed to increase students’ understanding of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) related terminology, engage with common assumptions and stereotypes, and address some of the unique safety, health, and educational challenges that sexual and gender minorities face in schools. Specifically, these sessions provide participants with a safe learning environment to reflect upon the impacts of homophobic and transphobic language and bullying. Students are encouraged to be proactive and construct positive and productive ways to reduce discrimination and harassment of sexual and gender minority youth and those perceived to be LGBTQ by their peers.

fYrefly in schools – know your rights!

 

Did you know that every student in Alberta has a legal right to a GSA/QSA in their school?

 

The Province of Alberta Education Act, current as of September 1 2019, states that:

 

"If one or more students attending a school operated by a board request a staff member employed by the board for support to establish a voluntariy student organization or to lead an activity intended to promote a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment that respects diversity and fosters a sense of belonging, the principal of the school shall

a) permit the establishment of the student organization or the holding of the activity at the school, and

b) designate a staff member to serve as the staff liaison to facilitate the establishment, and the ongoing operation, of the student organization or to assist in organizing the activity.

 

(3) The students may select a respectful and inclusive name for the organization including the name "gay-straight alliance" or "queer-straight alliance," after consulting with the principal."  

fYrefly in Schools

C/O Camp fYrefly
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services
7-104 Education North Building
Faculty of Education | University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, CANADA | T6G 2G5
fYreflys@ualberta.ca
780-492-4909