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New pride club brings students and school leaders together at Tucson middle school

A middle school club is creating a safe space for students.
Posted at 6:41 AM, Nov 19, 2021

A middle school club is creating a safe space for students.

"I really like it. It's an inclusive space where everyone can be who they really are. Daniel Valenzula is talking about Utterback Middle School's Pride Club.

"Everybody is allowed in here. Don't matter what size you are. What skin color you are. The age you are. All of that," said Ramona Loftonsoto. The pride club is new. It's been underway for two and half months

It's a place where students don't have to worry about, "like not feeling either safe or accepted here at school and at home or in their friend groups or wherever they might be," said school counselor Sara Taferre

She says she noticed there was a great need for a safe space. "It's just a casual 30 minute lunch group every Tuesday. Some kids come every week. Some kids come every other week," said Taferre.

Students take part in activities like arts and crafts. "We've been slowly working on this poster to hang up in the school. Today we're doing some key chains," said Taferre.

Through these moments, it's helping Sara and students connect. "It helped me build connections with students and they know that they can come to me if they need stuff, which as a school counselor that's all I can ask for," said Taferre.

"We try to like open art school with welcome arms for everybody who comes in here whose pans, bi, gay," said student David Alvarez.

"It's helped me be more talkative and more open with people," said student Eddy Placencil.