He Continues To Make A Difference


smilie-gay-faceOctober is LGBT History Month!smilie-gay-face

October is a great time to include positive representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, history and events in your classroom and assess opportunities for LGBT-inclusive curriculum throughout the year.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

k14225952-2GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a small, but dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) glsenstudents to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.  Over 25 years later, that small group has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.We face a pervasive problem with a set of new challenges. 8 out of 10 LGBT students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are.
We are working to change that.

 learn more about GLSEN. »»»»»»»»»»»»

ELA and History Resource: Matthew Shepard (Grades 9-12)

small-heart GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Lesléa Newman and Candlewick Press have collaborated to develop  He Continues to Make a Difference: Commemorating the Life of Matthew glsenShepard, a resource for high school educators interested in:

• Commemorating and learning from the life of Matthew Shepard

• Teaching themes of empathy and social justice

• Implementing LGBT-Inclusive curriculum while meeting reading and writing standards

• Supporting LGBT students

Using Lesléa Newman’s award-winning book of poetry, OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD, as a foundation, educators can foster meaningful dialogue with students while meeting English/Language Arts and Social Studies standards.

THE RESOURCEpink-tank-top2

small-heart He Continues to Make a Difference is a resource for high school educators that includes information and best practices for supporting LGBT students and developing an LGBT-inclusive curriculum, along with classroom resources and lessons aligned with ELA Common Core State Standards. Click HERE to learn more.


This resources was developed by GLSEN, the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Lesléa Newman and Candlewick Press. Click HERE to learn more about the partners and their offerings.

Introduce Matthew’s Place to your LGBTQ Students!

small-heart MatthewsPlace.com is an online community and resource site for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, queer and questioning youth ages 13 to 24. The LGBTQ safe space works to rainbow_smiley_face_heart_sticker-rd5be97d5a76f437391dd913496598a30_v9w0n_8byvr_512support youth, combat bullying, and give young people a platform to make their voices heard.

Matthew’s Place features interviews with individuals in the LGBT and allied community and an in-depth list of shelters, outreach centers, and empowerment programs that are welcoming of youth regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Matthew’s Place is a program of the Matthew Shepard Foundation. The foundation was founded after the death of Matthew Shepard following a traumatic attack he suffered in one of America’s most notorious anti-gay hate crimes in Laramie, Wyoming.

Since its creation, MatthewsPlace.com has received hundreds of thousands of unique visitors who have used its 50-state resource and service directory; read inspirational interviews with LGBT and allied professionals, political leaders, entertainers and activists; participated in chat sessions with rainbow007Matthew Shepard Foundation staff and special guests; and viewed written and video blogs by LGBT youth across the country. 

The site is inspired by the intense need for information, support and services by LGBTQ youth, particularly in rural areas where in-person services and organizations are sparse or nonexistent. The site hopes to inspire happiness, health, and positive choices among LGBTQ youth.

smilie-gay-faceThe Booksmilie-gay-face

At the foundation of small-heart He Continues to Make a Difference is Lesléa Newman’s award-winning OCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD. Watch the trailer and read below to learn more.


On the night of October 6, 1998, a gay twenty-one-year-old University of Wyoming student named Matthew Shepard was lured from a bar by two young men, then savagely matthew-shepard3beaten, tied to a fence on the outskirts of Laramie, and left to die. Five days later, Lesléa Newman arrived on campus to give the keynote speech for the University of Wyoming’s Gay Awareness Week. October Mourning is Newman’s deeply personal response to the events of that tragic day and its brutal aftermathThis work of poetic imagination explores the impact of the vicious crime through fictitious monologues from various points of view, including the fence to which Matthew was tied, the deer that kept watch beside him, and even Matthew himself.

reading-geek-female-girl-smiley-emoticon-000536-largeOCTOBER MOURNING: A SONG FOR MATTHEW SHEPARD is a cycle of sixty-eight poems that serves as an illumination for readers too young to remember and as a powerful, enduring tribute to Matthew Shepard’s life and legacy. Click HERE for more information about the book and accompanying resources.




Learn more about MatthewsPlace.com

Learn more about The Matthew Shepard Foundation

Learn more about The gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

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