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LGBT Network 2019 GSA Mini Grants

The LGBT Network announced today the funding of thirty (30) grants totaling $7,500 to afterschool gay-straight alliance (GSA) clubs throughout Long Island and New York City. The youth-led projects are designed to address the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth, who continue to face high rates of bullying and violence in schools.

LGBT Network President/CEO and Founder David Kilmnick says, “Afterschool GSA clubs are vital safe spaces for LGBT youth to advocate for a school environment free from bullying – and sometimes all that stands between them and their ideas is resources. That’s where the LGBT Network’s GSA Mini-Grant Program comes-in – we provide the support and empower youth leaders to stop the bullying of LGBT youth.”

The LGBT Network issues these grants through its GSA Mini-Grant Program that advances local efforts of LGBT youth and their friends by empowering them to address and prevent bullying in their schools. Funded projects include LGBT-themed displays, education and awareness efforts, and historical initiatives, including celebrating the legacy of out gay public official Harvey Milk who was born and grew up on Long Island. A full listing of project descriptions are available below.

The LGBT Network was a critical force in establishing the first GSA club on Long Island in 1998, and since then the LGBT Network has helped start 125 afterschool GSA. Kilmnick says, “The bullying of LGBT youth remains a serious problem in our schools, and GSA clubs are a critical part of addressing this epidemic.” Nine out of 10 LGBT youth report hearing anti-LGBT language at school daily, and nearly one-third report verbal and physical harassment.

This is the third funding cycle of the program that began in 2017 with just four grants, and has grown to 30 awards in just two years. This is the only program of its kind in the nation and only source of financial support for these clubs outside of their schools. The program is supported by private and corporate donations, and is part of the LGBT Network’s broader flagship Safe Schools Initiative that provides over 500 anti-bullying programs each year in schools for both students and teachers.



2019 Long Island Region Award Winners:

School Project Summary
Kings Park HS

The GSA planned a “Game Night” for all Kings Park High School students. The GSA will organize games, invite students, and host the evening. $250 is requested to purchase group game supplies as well as food and drinks.

Greenport HS The GSA will create an LGBT history documentary for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. The GSA is asking for $510 for transportation to New York City where they will go to the Stonewall Inn to interview the owner and record footage. The GSA would also like to interview David and include that footage in the documentary.
Brentwood HS The GSA would like to paint a mural in their school as well as create LGBT friendly club T-shirts to increase awareness and support for the club. The GSA is asking for $250 to help buy mural supplies and cover costs of T-shirts.
Riverhead HS The GSA would like to host a mixer/dance for local GSA’s. The $250 would go towards hiring a DJ for the dance and purchasing snacks.
Bethpage HS In order to participate in our Conference at Stony Brook, the GSA is requesting $250 to cover the cost of attendance.
Mattituck HS The GSA would like to use the grant money to obtain transportation from Mattituck to Riverhead in order to attend the Riverhead GSA Mixer.
Oceanside MS Oceanside Middle School GSA hosts “No Name Calling Week” where the club works to create and distribute positive messages for staff and students. The club also provides rewards for students who have been identified as kind to others. The GSA is requesting $250 to pay for the art materials used in creating these messages in the form of cards/posters as well as providing rewards such as cupcakes or candy.
Bay Shore HS This GSA club has grown from 5 students to over 30 members. They would like to use the $250 to create a professionally made sign to represent their club. Club members would like to bring this sign to Long Island Pride and display it within their school to gain visibility. The club has also been given space to create a bulletin board. The money would also be used to buy supplies for the board.
Northport HS The GSA would like to use $250 to make and distribute “candy-grams” for students to send kind messages to teachers, friends, and acquaintances. The money will be used to buy candy and art supplies to create the “candy-grams”.  Each message will include a quote about equality and be signed from "Your GSA Club."
Central Islip HS The GSA club will make a video written by and starring GSA club members. In this video, students will share their stories of harassment and discrimination because of their LGBT identities. This video will be presented during the Central Islip High School’s Multicultural Day. $250 will be used to promote and advertise the event as well as buy incentive pens, candy, pins, and bracelets.  These promotional items will be given away to people who engage in the panel discussion after the movie. With the remaining funds, members will purchase a plaque commemorating the Multicultural Day and the GSA’s contribution to its success.
Great Neck South MS The GSA Club would like to use $250 to create a comic book about LGBT issues with the first installment being,  “How to be an ally”. Members of the group will collaborate to create different comic strips and compile the stories into booklets. The money will be used for supplies to create and print the booklets, and any remaining funds will go towards the library hosting a book signing/reading party.
Pierson HS The club is requesting $250 to create an alternative activity during “Whaler Day” (their schools pep rally/sporting event). This is to provide a safe and affirming space for all students to partake and show their school spirit. The club is deciding between hosting a color run or taking students on a field trip centered on themes of unity and inclusivity. The money would go towards the materials of the run or the cost of the field trip. The GSA club would use any extra money to make and print posters to advertise their GSA and Youth Squad at the East End Center.
Bellport HS Bellport is requesting $250 to host a GSA "Fiesta". This event would be a safe space for students to be in an inclusive, judgment free zone where they can express themselves and feel comfortable bringing a date. $250 would go towards funding the dance/getting a DJ.
Mepham HS The GSA club will host a “Culture Night”. The $250 will go towards food, plates, tablecloths, decorations, and potentially a guest speaker.
Plainview Old Bethpage HS The club will use $250 to design and order stickers that have positive LGBT messages and distribute them among teachers. Students will use their own artwork to create an image with a message about safety and inclusion. The money will go towards materials to create the image and pay for the stickers.
Commack MS The GSA will use $250 to create posters to advertise Day of Silence. Funds will also be used to get lanyard necklaces to hold information cards to be worn by participants. T-shirts will be made if enough funds are left over.







2019 New York City Region Award Winners:

School Borough Project Summary
I.S. 5- The Walter Crowley Intermediate School Queens

Purchase supplies and support advertising for "No Name Calling Week" to organize the school community to speak-out against bullying.

Academy of Medical Technology Queens Purchase supplies and t-shirts for the Day of Silence to give the GSA club and participating students more visibility for this day-of-action.
Information Technology High School Queens Create multiple "The More You Know" displays in school about LGBT issues and LGBT history.
Bard High School Early College Queens Queens Purchase of podcast training and recording equipment to produce podcasts of intergenerational LGBT stories.
Community School 111Q Jacob Blackwell Queens Pridefest day including and Harvey Milk and cookies booth- festival supplies and tye-dying supplies.
Science Skills Center High School for Science, Technology & the Creative Arts Brooklyn Help host a "Ally Week" as school-wide anti-bullying strategy.
New Visions Charter High School for Advanced Math & Science III (84K738) Brooklyn Support "No H8/Love Is Love" festival supplies to engage broader school community in movement for LGBT equality.
Brooklyn Technical High School Brooklyn Purchase supplies to conduct workshops for Day of Silence, as well as to produce posters and palm cards to protest the bullying of LGBT youth.
The Bronx Science Bronx Compile, print, and distribute a book of LGBT stories to increase awareness and visibility of the experiences of LGBT people.
Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School (WHEELS) Manhattan Purchase LGBT-themed movies for "LGBT Movie Night" viewing events that will be kept in a permanent collection at the school. 
Essex Street Academy Manhattan Produce a public service announcement (PSA) video about LGBT youth issues to educate the school community.
High School for Health Professions and Human Services Manhattan Create a creative writing and art zone highlighting LGBT issues.

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