PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians & Gays) Oregon Central Coast received a coveted honor at the recent PFLAG Annual Conference in Washington, DC when it received the National Chapter Award in Education. Each year one chapter is selected to acknowledge its outstanding work in the fields of Support, Education, and Advocacy, the three goals of the organization.
Kathy Reim, Northwest Regional PFLAG Director, nominated the Oregon Central Coast Chapter for its outstanding contributions in Bully Prevention and Community Education. Ms. Reim said, “PFLAG OCC is an exemplary rural model for integrating school, community and PFLAG efforts to improve school and community climate and support for LGBT teens. It has displayed extraordinary energy and creativity that has served as an inspiration to rural chapters throughout the Northwest. It has one of the best newsletters- filled with a great combination of educational, supportive and advocacy leadership.”
In her nomination, Ms. Reim said that this project has dramatically increased the level of awareness and support for LGBT teens in Lincoln County. Every high school and Angell Job Corps now has a GSA (Gay/Straight Alliance) chapter that meets with other rural GSA groups for education and support. The school board and administrators are familiar with state laws and mandates for Bully Prevention policy and programs, as well as PFLAG OCC’s Gay 101
community education program. LGBT teens are leaders in the county-wide Youth Leadership Academy and developed the first LGBT Curriculum Integration guide in Oregon. The school community was very supportive of the openly LGBT student who won the PFLAG scholarship.
PFLAG OCC increased its visibility in the community and its credibility with school district board, administrators, teaching staff, students, parents and community members. School administrators now seek out PFLAG leaders for expertise in bully prevention and school climate improvement. The Newport Chamber of Commerce hosted a presentation on Gay 101 to help the business community be more aware and supportive of the needs of LGBT teens
and adults in the community. PFLAG OCC has been sought out to mentor two new PFLAG chapters in the last three months. While no one from the local chapter was able to attend the award ceremony, this photo of local PFLAG leaders at their Oct. 11 presentation to the Newport Chamber of Commerce was displayed during the ceremony in Washington, DC.
For more information about local PFLAG chapter meetings or activities, contact Jeanne
St.John at 541-265-7194 or firstname.lastname@example.org.