Saskatchewan

Regina students read stories of inclusivity to peers to prepare for Pride

Students at the Gender and Sexuality Alliance at Seven Stones Community School in Regina are celebrating Pride by reading books about diversity and inclusion to their classmates.

The Gender and Sexuality Alliance at Seven Stones Community School prepares for Pride celebrations

Students from the Seven Stones Gender and Sexuality Alliance read picture books that discuss LGBT issues to their classmates. (Twitter)

The 15 or so Grade 6 to 8 students in the GSA at Regina's Seven Stones School are helping their classmates prepare for local Pride celebrations. 

"The "G" stands for "gender," the "S" for sexuality and the "A" for "alliance."

"It means you shouldn't care about who they are, like whoever your friends are, and you should care about people on the inside," said Atlanta, a young member of the group.

"Because if you judge people by how they look, that can make them sad."

The group has been reading picture books that reference LGBT issues to other students in the school in preparation for Pride celebrations.

Seven Stones Community School students decorate the sidewalks with rainbow art. (Twitter)
Cassidy, 14, said she read to students from Grades 1 to 5, and to her own classroom. 

"I had to, like, gain courage just to read in front of them," she said.

"[I read] And Tango Makes Three. It's, like, a true story about these two male penguins who raise a baby penguin." 

Jolene, 11, said Pride means "You get to express who you are."

She said it was scary to stand up in front of her classmates and read the books.

"Worm Loves Worm [is a book] where they have a different traditional wedding and they don't need to be traditional. You can have it different," she said.

Students from the GSA read LGBT-themed books to their fellow classmates in the elementary school. (Twitter)
She also read a book called Jacob's New Dress, "where this boy gets to wear a dress but someone is saying he can't wear a dress."

"I read the King and King book," Grade 6 student Elizabeth said.

"So that they understand it's OK to be different and you shouldn't judge a book by its cover … lots of kids don't really do that in life." 

Seven Stones principal Jay Fladager says he's proud of the group's work, and of the fact that the school has such a group at all.

"It's one of the only elementary GSAs running in Regina, and it's really great to get our youth talking about what it means to be inclusive, and understand diversity of all orientations and all identities, and really being a welcoming, belonging place for everybody," he said. 
The group has added rainbow-coloured tape to the school's basketball team jerseys in time for Pride. (Twitter)

Michael, 13, said it's important that the GSA helps make people feel like they belong at the school. 

"Because a lot of kids don't feel like they belong anywhere … They help people feel more confident and comfortable," Michael said. 

The group has been busy with other activities for Pride, including adding rainbow-coloured tape to the school basketball team jerseys and decorating sidewalks with inclusive art. They also helped raise the school's rainbow flag.

"We did the flag-raising on June 1. It was fun because some people from the band got to play Born This Way," Atlanta said, adding that the Lady Gaga anthem matches the group's inclusive approach.

"It doesn't matter how you are or who you are. You were born that way and that's OK."

About the Author

Tory Gillis

Journalist

Tory Gillis is a journalist with CBC Saskatchewan. She's a reporter, radio newsreader/editor and associate producer with the Morning Edition.