SaskTel Be Kind Online Grant helps students support diversity and inclusion

SaskTel Be Kind Online Grant helps students support diversity and inclusion

April 4, 2022

SaskTel Be Kind Online

Grade 10-12 teacher Corinne Pirot says she’s proud to hear her students at Archbishop MC O’Neill Catholic Highschool boast often about the school’s True Colours Gay Straight Diversity Alliance (GSDA.)

The high school’s True Colours GSDA is a Be Kind Online Grant winner and they used the funds to purchase books for their weekly book club that promotes inclusion and acceptance, especially with 2SLGBTQIA+ topics.

Remaining grant money will also be used to help fund their upcoming Rainbow Days of Inclusion awareness campaign to promote the club through Snapchat filters, decorations, and posters.

“There are a lot of students on the margins who show up differently in life. Unfortunately, when they are different, they are often bullied or ostracized,” Corinne said. “This club gives our 2SLGBTQIA+ students a safe place to come and be themselves. A place where they are accepted and loved just as they are, which is critical for their mental health. It’s also an important awareness piece for the school.”

True Colours works to bring students from different gender and sexuality backgrounds together to form an alliance that supports inclusion for 2SLGBTQIA+ youth at school and in the community.

“Most of the bullying that happens in high school these days is online,” she said. “People saying mean things is common but even more hurtful, in my mind, is leaving others out of things because they don’t fit the social norms. Meeting with students and helping them to focus on the positive things helps them to avoid negative online interactions and groups that are hurtful or judgemental.”

During the pandemic the group launched a virtual book club as a safe way to stay connected. They met bi-weekly through Microsoft Teams to chat about their experiences as students on the 2SLGBTQIA+ spectrum and discuss topics that are important to help combat exclusion, isolation, and discrimination. Moving forward, with pandemic protocols lifted, the book club will continue to meet in-person or online at the discretion of members.

Corinne has been involved with True Colours GDSA as the Teacher Advisor since its induction in 2015 and says the group is near and dear to her heart.

“Receiving this grant means I can run the program and support these precious students,” she said. “It also tells me that SaskTel knows how important these kids are because they are willing to put their funding behind it!”

As the group’s BKO grant application met all the criteria for promoting kindness and inclusivity while combating discrimination, SaskTel was pleased to crown them a winner.

“The Internet is increasingly important for staying connected to what matters most to each individual, and it’s heartwarming to hear that by embracing technology students and teachers were able to keep the club alive while covid safety protocols were in place,” said Jodine Smith, Corporate Communications Manager. “It’s clear that True Colours plays an important role in the lives of many students at Archbishop MC O’Neill Highschool, and we are happy to support them through Be Kind Online.”

To read more about Be Kind Online grant recipients, please visit:

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