Post submitted by Cheryl Greene, Welcoming Schools Deputy Director
As Deputy Director of Welcoming Schools, I am proud to announce the completion of our program’s second National Facilitator Certification Training. Last week, we welcomed 22 participants from 16 states (plus Mexico and Washington, D.C.) to HRC headquarters for four days of intensive training in the Welcoming Schools approach.
Supporting me in my role as Facilitator Certification Program Manager were Program Director Johanna Eager and our team of knowledgeable, experienced Expert Trainers: Tarah Fleming, Michele Hatchell, and Toni Smith. This year, we were thrilled to have Nationally Certified Facilitator and Boston Public Schools Senior Equity Manager Steven Chen with us. Chen was part of our first ever cohort and joined us to train the newest group in laws and policies that support LGBTQ students.
I was impressed by our participants’ creativity, talent, knowledge base, and passion. I can say with confidence that all of our newly-minted Facilitators are outstanding, committed advocates who will represent our program well and bring much-needed training to elementary schools across the country.
Above all, we are excited to see our program grow. By adding 22 Facilitators to our nationwide network, we greatly increased our capacity to serve schools and youth-serving organizations around the country, getting professional development, information, and resources into the hands of educators who so desperately need it.
In the days following the training, our participants have remarked on how inspired they were by the experience. They aren’t the only ones who were impacted. I know I speak for the entire Welcoming Schools team when I say that these 22 individuals have energized and inspired us. We can’t wait to watch the amazing work they will do in support of schoolchildren everywhere.
HRC’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier program dedicated to creating respectful and supportive elementary schools in embracing family diversity, creating LGBTQ-inclusive schools, preventing bias-based bullying, creating gender-expansive schools, and supporting transgender and non-binary students.