SafeZones Logo

The Chemung County SafeZones Program provides middle and high school students with a safe, empowering and non-judgmental environment to learn about LGBTQ+ history, culture and relevant topics. SafeZones promotes diversity and encourages acceptance for all regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
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Safezones Coordinator-Jenica Shapiro

We are happy to introduce our new SafeZones Coordinator Jenica Shapiro. Jenica has been in education for twenty-five years: twenty at the college level and five at the middle and high school level. She loves working with students to help them be comfortable and confident inside the classroom and outside of it, too. Jenica grew up in the Twin Tiers and is happy to be raising her two daughters here. She loves animals, reading, gardening, and photography. Jenica is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Chemung County and the Elmira City School District. She is looking forward to working with the students, faculty, administration, community, and her new colleagues. Welcome aboard Jenica!!!

Pride Flag-created by students from EDA

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EmptyEmpty headSafezones Brochure 2023

In School Services
The SafeZones group location is a designated safe space for students to get a break and be themselves . Programs and groups are facilitated by the SafeZones Coordinator. Programs focus on kindness, acceptance, diversity, respect, and culture.

Lunch Breaks
Students who are feeling anxious or overwhelmed in the cafeteria during lunch can come to Room C104 on Tuesday's & Thursday's at EDA and Room A104 on Friday’s at BWA during Lunch. Students will be allowed to make new friends, play games, learn coping skills and process their thoughts with their peers and SafeZones program coordinator. Lunch breaks focus on helping students understand mental health and learn new skills to help themselves or others cope with feeling strong emotions.

Hope Squad Lunch Group
Hope Squad, a Peer to Peer Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness Program, will meet during lunches
on Friday's at BWA and on Thursday's at EDA .

Community Education and Outreach
The SafeZones program offers community education and outreach. Trainings will be scheduled on a quarterly basis and will be open to the public. Registration for all community trainings will be required.

Parent Support
SafeZones provides support for parents of LGBTQ+ youth. 

Community Youth Programming

Safezones evening groups meet twice a month at Steele Memorial Library.

Safezones Flyer Nov. 23


LGBTQ+ National Resources

Axis Parents Guide to LGBTQ

Gender Unicorn

2021 GLSEN Back to School - Student Guide

2021 GLSEN Back to School - Educator Guide

The Chemung County SafeZones Program is made possible through the partnerships of Chemung County, the Elmira City School District and Pathways Inc.