Benjamin Dean to help bring LGBT+ stories to primary schools

by Just Like Us
May 2022

Benjamin Dean's video resources

Benjamin Dean, author of The Secret Sunshine Project and Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow, is helping to bring diverse stories to primary schools this School Diversity Week.

Just Like Us has created educational resources on The Secret Sunshine Project in collaboration with the children’s books author.

The Secret Sunshine Project is about Bea and her sister Riley who hatch a plan to celebrate Pride after their dad passes away and they’re forced to move to the countryside.

School Diversity Week is the UK-wide celebration of LGBT+ equality in primary and secondary schools run by charity Just Like Us and takes place 20-24 June this year.

Benjamin Dean has recorded an exclusive book reading resource available from Just Like Us, and will be virtually visiting primary schools across the UK during School Diversity Week, to read from his new book and answer pupils’ questions.

The free educational resources available for The Secret Sunshine Project include a video of the author reading from the book, a reading guide with discussion questions and a PSHE lesson plan for Key Stage 2 on ‘What is Pride?’ inspired by Bea and Riley’s adventures in the book

A preview of the free School Diversity Week resources available

Opening up much-needed discussions, publisher Simon & Schuster Children’s Books is also running a book giveaway for primary schools who sign up to take part in School Diversity Week.

School Diversity Week

Just Like Us has free resources for EYFS to Key Stage 4 in all key subject areas of the curriculum. There is a range of resources available including posters, lesson plans, assemblies, form time activities and videos. 

Dominic Arnall, Chief Executive of Just Like Us, says: “We’re so thrilled to be partnering with Benjamin Dean to bring stories of diverse families and LGBT+ young people to more primary schools this School Diversity Week. 

“A huge thank you to Benjamin and everyone at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books for helping us to champion LGBT+ inclusive education and bringing much-needed representation to primary schools.”

Benjamin Dean, author of The Secret Sunshine Project

Benjamin Dean says: “I’m absolutely thrilled to be partnering with Just Like Us for School Diversity Week, to help bring inclusive stories into primary schools.

“When I was younger, LGBT+ stories were absent from my education and it left me feeling othered, lonely and lost at times.

“I’m so glad to see that this is changing for the younger generation of today. I hope that this initiative will not only make some children feel less alone in the world, but that it will also help to encourage empathy and kindness in others, too.

“I’m excited to work alongside Just Like Us to continue championing diverse and LGBT+ inclusive stories.”

‘A total ray of sunshine’

Amina Youssef, Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster, says: “Benjamin Dean’s books are a total ray of sunshine that shine a light on diverse, inclusive and heart-warming families. Simon & Schuster are delighted to be partnering with Just Like Us to bring these much-needed stories to readers everywhere.”

School Diversity Week takes place 20-24 June, 2022, in primary and secondary schools across the UK.