Little SMYALs

March in DC’s Pride Parade with Little SMYALs!

We are so excited to invite our Little SMYALs families to march with us in this year’s Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11th! We will gather at SMYAL to get ready and then head over to the parade together. This opportunity is open to any youth who have previously attended Little SMYALs and their families (chosen and biological!). Learn more and register HERE.

What is Little SMYALs?

Little SMYALs is a group designed for LGBTQ youth ages 6-12 to find a safe(r) space to hang out and meet new people, access resources, and gain support.

During programs, we play games, read books, make arts and crafts, learn about the LGBTQ community and its history, and celebrate being wonderfully, uniquely ourselves!

If you are new to Little SMYALs, you must also fill out our one-time Intake Form at: https://bit.ly/littlesmyalsintake

Who can attend Little SMYALs?

We welcome all youth ages 6-12 who identify as LGBTQIA+ or gender nonconforming, and those who are exploring or questioning their identities. Through our virtual programming, youth may join from wherever they are located. However, in-person programming is based in Washington, DC. 

To best meet the needs of our youth, we have programs that are designed for 6 to 9-year-olds or 10 to 12-year-olds. Some programs are open to youth of all ages 6 to 12. You know your child best, so feel free to select the programs that are the best fit regardless of age.

When and where does Little SMYALs meet?

There is a Little SMYALs group every week of the month! Programs meet every Tuesday and two Saturdays a month, you can find more details below. Currently, all Tuesday programs are hosted virtually while Saturday Sessions are hosted in-person.

If you plan to attend programming in-person, please review SMYAL’s COVID-19 Safety Protocols.

1st Tuesday- Game Day

These virtual sessions are designed for kids (suggested ages 6-9) to play games, make friends, and have fun with other youth like them!

Where: Virtual- Link Provided Upon Registration
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm ET
Ages: Suggested ages 6-9
REGISTER HERE

 

2nd Tuesday- Express Yourself

 A monthly virtual group for youth ages 10-13 to share about themselves and learn from others. We will use a creative workbook called “Express It!” which is full of doodling and drawing prompts to explore. As such, we request that you register for this program at least 10 days in advance and try your best to attend 3+ months in a row.

NOTE: Our first session, on June 14th, will not use the workbook, but instead we will have a supported open discussion about our responses to current events and how trans, nonbinary, and queer youth can find support for themselves and each other.

Where: Virtual- Link Provided Upon Registration
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm ET
Ages: Suggested ages 10-13
REGISTER HERE

 

3rd Tuesday- Creative Kids

These sessions will focus on our younger audience (suggested ages 6-9). Each session might incorporate arts, crafts, songs, games, and unstructured playtime in an affirming environment. We expect participants to come prepared with paper and coloring materials (markers, crayons, or colored pencils). 

Where: Virtual- Link Provided Upon Registration
Time: 5:30-6:30 pm ET
Ages: Suggested ages 6-9
REGISTER HERE

 

4th Tuesday- Middle Grades Queer Book Club

Calling all daydreamers, fantasy lovers, fiction adventurers, and comic enthusiasts! SMYAL is hosting a book club, full of diverse LGBTQ+ stories. If you sign up at least 2 weeks in advance, we can mail you a free copy of the book to keep. Otherwise, we encourage you to find the book at your local bookstore or library.

Where: Virtual- Link Provided Upon Registration
Time: 5:30-6:30 ET
Ages: Suggested ages 10-13
REGISTER HERE

These in-person community meetups are designed for youth ages 6-12 to join us in SMYAL’s drop-in space in Capitol Hill DC. Our Saturday Sessions, which are held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month, are full of unique fun activities that combine play, community building, and creativity. 

2nd and 4th Saturday

Where: In-Person at SMYAL’s Youth Center
Time: 10-11 am ET
Ages: All ages (breakout rooms split by age)

Register for Saturday Sessions Here

Can parents and siblings stay during programming?

We invite caregivers to stay for the first 5 minutes to meet the staff and make sure their child is ready to participate. We then encourage caregivers to give their child some space to allow their child to meet new friends and participate fully in this environment (some have enjoyed getting coffee down the street together during in-person programs).

Note: Parents and caregivers are welcome to join us on field trips and special events.

 

How much does it cost?

Little SMYALs is free of cost for all attendees.

 

Do I have to pre-register?

Registration is required for all Little SMYALs programs. If you are new to Little SMYALs, you must also fill out our one-time Intake Form at: https://bit.ly/littlesmyalsintake

 

Click Here to Register for Little SMYALs Programs on Eventbrite

 

Who leads Little SMYALs?

 

Ty Kitchen, SMYAL’s Community Engagement & Youth Leadership Manager

Ty comes to this work with over 4 years of experience at youth-serving organizations in Washington, DC.  Originally from Massachusetts, they studied Elementary Education, Community Action, and Latin American Studies at Connecticut College and student-taught in a bilingual sixth-grade classroom. Ty has worked with youth ranging in age from PreK-undergraduate in classrooms, afterschool programs, summer camp, and legal advocacy settings. They believe strongly in the power of youth-led change, and strive to create spaces where youth can be seen as their whole authentic selves.

What should I bring?

Please bring an ID, health-insurance card, and be prepared to fill out a registration form for your youth.

For more information please contact Ty Kitchen at ty.kitchen@smyal.org