Last year, Mr Aday Tacoronte, Head of Spanish at Tiffin Girls’ School, was presented with a Leader Award from the Jack Petchey Foundation. This award was given to recognise his positive work in the LGBTQ community and the school as a whole. Since receiving his award, Mr Tacoronte applied for a £750 Small Grant from the Foundation and used the money to further enhance the school’s awareness of the LGBTQ community.
Mr Tacoronte was nominated for the Leader Award by his students who were inspired by his passion supporting both the LGBTQ community as well as promoting racial equality in their ethnically diverse school. Every year Mr Tacoronte single-handedly organises the school’s LGBTQ week, a chance to highlight the community and raise awareness of it to all students throughout the school.
In time for 2018’s LGBTQ week, Mr Tacoronte put his grant towards injecting more LGBTQ-themed materials into the school’s library by purchasing books and DVDs that explore these themes throughout. Two copies of each book and DVD were purchased. By having two copies of each, one could be kept within the library’s specific LGBTQ section, for those with a direct interest in the topic, and another could be integrated into the general library. This was part of Mr Tacoronte’s aim to make LGBTQ themes more visible throughout the school, so all students have access to these books and DVDs.
The new materials were introduced to the school library at the end of February during the annual LGBTQ week, which ran during the week after half term. Throughout the week a ‘Book of the Day’ was selected from the new copies to highlight the new LGBTQ-themed material to everyone who visited the library. As well as highlighting the books on offer, teachers also used the newly purchased DVDs to give a lecture on Gender in Film to further educate students about LGBTQ themes. The school put on various other activities throughout the week to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community, with the new resources in the library playing a vital role.
Since introducing the new materials to the school library, students have been able to gain access to learning about the LGBTQ community more easily than ever before. The school noted that not only did the grant enable the library to add more materials for the students, but it has inspired an environment of openness and acceptance throughout the school, enabling all students to feel comfortable within their community.
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