Silver Spring school’s equality group creates ‘Allie the Ally’ -- Gazette.Net


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Students from Allies 4 Equality, the gay-straight alliance at James Hubert Blake High School, created a character that they are using to gain support for students in the school’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning community.

“We were talking about how [the students] are being bullied and what we could to support them,” Allies 4 Equality adult sponsor Mary Wagner said. “The students came up with the idea that we should create a character similar to Flat Stanley that we could send out.”

Allie the Ally is based on Flat Stanley, the main character of the children’s books by Jeff Brown featuring Flat Stanley and his adventures. Being flat, Stanley can be mailed anywhere, as the Blake students did with Allie.

The Allie character was designed by junior Heidi Peterson and digitized by Jenna Beers, also a junior.

Wagner said the students hoped to send Allie around the country and around the world so people could take pictures of her along with positive, supportive messages.

“We wanted to show that there was a lot of support for the GLBTQ community,” Wagner said.

The students printed copies of Allie to distribute, and sent her image via email and social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

“We have had a good response and its ongoing. We have not had any negative response at all,” Wagner said.

Wagner and co-sponsor Deena Barlev meet with the students weekly at lunch. She said they have about 60 kids on their membership list and about 30 active members.

“We range between being a support group and being an activist group, depending on what the students need,” Wagner said.

To see Allie the Ally visit the Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/pages/Allie-the-Ally/202752576476688.