Home > Upcoming Programs & Postponements > Roots and Shoots: a supportive space for gender creative kids and their caregivers
10 July, 2020
5:30 PM
Tatamagouche Centre, 259 Loop Route 6, Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia B0K 1V0

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July 10 – July 12, 2020 Fri 5:30 PM – Sun 2:00 PM

Do you have a child in your life under 16 who is exploring their gender identity?
Are you seeking more support and education around gender diversity as a caregiver?
You’re in luck!

Roots and Shoots: a supportive space for gender creative kids and their caregivers is a family program to gain support, have fun, and make new connections! Youth (shoots) between the ages of 5 to 16 will explore their own identity alongside the diversity in nature through engaging activities, art, and play. Meanwhile, their parents and caregivers (roots) will unlearn myths surrounding gender identity, explore terms and definitions within the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and work together to identify issues in our own lives and community that we can deal with in order to effectively nurture and support the gender creative youths in our lives, as well as one another. And of course, there will be time and space for fun family activities that foster deeper connection and new friendships!

Roots & Shoots is a program based on the two most important parts of a plant. The Roots are responsible for supporting and nurturing the Shoots so that they can blossom and grow into the most beautiful beings possible. Just as with plants, we know that gender creative or gender diverse children flourish in environments where they are supported rather than stifled. Our goals with this programming is to connect caregivers with the tools and resources to support the growth and exploration of the youth in their lives, to provide gender-affirming supports to youth, and to foster connections between families.

This program is a partnership between Tatamagouche Centre, PEERS Alliance, and Wild Child PEI.

Acceptance to this program is based on an application process. Application form will be available by March 31st.

Applications close June 15, 2020

Program Cost:

Full Program Cost for one legal parent/guardian and one youth – $699 for a youth 14-16, $669 for a youth aged 5-13 (including tuition, meals, and shared accommodations). Additional family members add $190 to the total cost. Families will be roomed together.

Can’t afford it?

Please apply as normal and indicate how much you are able to contribute on your application form.

Program Leadership

Hannah Gehrels is a cis queer woman and settler living in Epekwitk (PEI) where she coordinates and runs the Wild Child Forest School Program which connects kids to nature through outdoor play. Hannah is committed to building a more inclusive world where differentness is valued, and she works towards shaping change in the direction of migrant justice, right relationship with our natural world, and flourishing queer communities. She is excited to bring her lifelong love of games, imagination, and collaborative play to this weekend!

Andrea MacPherson is a parent of two, a software developer, secretary and chair of advocacy at Pride PEI, and helps facilitate parent discussions with Roots and Shoots. She has also volunteered with PEERS Alliance to give presentations on gender expression, gender identities, and sexual orientation in PEI intermediate schools.

Angele DesRoches joined the P.E.E.R.S Alliance team as program coordinator in 2015 when the organization was still known as AIDS PEI. Angele completed her B.A. (Hons.) degree at UPEI where she became interested in the relationship between social science and social justice. Lured away by the promise of critical action-oriented academics, Angele earned her Master’s Degree in Community Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University where she studied health promotion and social change theory, and program development. Before that, Angele worked as an early childhood educator within a registered learning centre serving children ages 0 -12. Angele continues to work with children and youth in both professional (PEI Queer Youth Collective) and volunteer (Baseball PEI) capacities.

Rory Starkman is a non-binary transgender person based out of Charlottetown, PEI where they work as the Youth Services Coordinator for PEERS Alliance and run a small independent queer theatre company. They have been a facilitator for PEI’s Queer Youth Collective for 3 years and running programming for queer youth and families since Spring of 2019. Rory is passionate about queer and trans rights, empowering queer youth, and infusing curiosity and the arts into their work. They are looking forward to bringing their talents together to help create a magical weekend for families with trans and gender diverse youth!