Free Spirit donates books to homeless LGBT kids

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Executive headshot, Sally, Scottie dog

GLBT Survival Guide  from Free Spirit BooksJudy Galbraith knows a thing or two about how to help LGBT kids survive. A teacher before founding Free Spirit Publishing 28 years ago, she has made a career out of finding and publishing materials to help not only LGBT youth but kids with a wide variety of special needs. Free Spirit publications include resources for teachers, parenting, bullying and conflict resolution, emotional needs and personal growth, character development, gifted students and much more. 

Most recently, Free Spirit has brought out the second edition of “GLBTQ, Survival Guide For LGBT Youth,” a handbook that is simply indispensable for any gay kid. The book also serves to inform adults about the issues and problems and how to deal with them.

Free Spirit Publisher Judy Galbraith

Free Spirit Publisher Judy Galbraith

The book covers updates on efforts to promote equality regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, the current status of legislative initiatives concerning safe schools, gay marriage, workplace equality, and transgender expression, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s issues-based information and advice address: coming out, prejudice, getting support, staying safe, making healthy choices, thriving in school and more. The book was created based on input from gay teens, PFLAG, GLAAD and GLSEN members and other allies and is an updated version of the highly acclaimed  2003 first edition (winner of the Ben Franklin Award and the subject of excellent reviews in Library Journal, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center) Lambda Book Report and elsewhere.

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Publisher Judy Galbraith, she made it clear that her mission in life is helping kids. To this end, Free spirit recently donated 200 copies of the survival guide to New Alternatives, the New York City organization that works to provide GED & SAT classes, life skills, food, clothes, social work, legal help and “safe space” for hundreds of the Big Apple’s legion of homeless LGBT street kids (http://www.newalternativesnyc.org/) The books are already in the hands of the young people at New Alternatives and helping to shed a ray of light in some lives that have had a lot of darkness – perhaps helping to let them know that in spite of the rejection they have experienced in the past, there are indeed some people that care about them and want to help make their lives a little better.

It might be supposed that a Mid-Western company bringing out a book like this would have gotten a lot of flack from the fundamentalists. Surprisingly, Ms. Galbraith reports only one or two negative communications. She stated that being in book form tends to legitimize the needs and concerns the work deals with. She told us there was a need to update the original version because a lot has changed since 2003. Cyberbullying for example, is a relatively new problem for kids to cope with. Changing attitudes about marriage equality and gays in the military needed to be addressed.

Ms Galbraith further told us she was greatly encouraged by new research showing that young people who are emotionally strong and able to self-advocate, they do better in school, have better social relationships and lead happier lives of positive accomplishment. Free Spirit Publishing is all about helping to build that inner strength. Anyone involved with working with young people whether as parents, teachers, social workers or in any capacity, would do well to visit the Free Spirit Publishing website; http://www.freespirit.com/  You can rely on it that there are books there you really need.

 

GLBT Survival Guide  from Free Spirit BooksJudy Galbraith knows a thing or two about how to help LGBT kids survive. A teacher before founding Free Spirit Publishing 28 years ago, she has made a career out of finding and publishing materials to help not only LGBT youth but kids with a wide variety of special needs. Free Spirit publications include resources for teachers, parenting, bullying and conflict resolution, emotional needs and personal growth, character development, gifted students and much more.