Prism Network

Building Bridges for Rural LGBTQ Communities across Northern AZ

PRISM Offers SafeTALK Trainings

PRISM Offers Top 10 Suicide Prevention Trainings- SafeTALK


October 2022

Prism Network now provides one of the Top 10 Rated Suicide Prevention Trainings in the nation: SafeTALK Suicide Alertness for Everyone.

On October 15,2019 the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), in coordinationwith the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) announced their Top 10 selections for Suicide Prevention Training in answer to the mandated SenateBill 1468.

See the full article Here


The mandate states that AHCCCS will select and post evidence-based, best practice suicide prevention training materials on their websites. Therefore, schools can select a program from this list as they move to meet state requirements. In addition, all school staff who interact with students in grades 6 through 12 must receive suicide prevention training at least once every three years.

The law, known as the Mitch Warnock Act, was named after a Tempe Arizona teenager who died by suicide. Learn More Here

Prism Network offers SafeTALK to Community Leaders, Educators, First Responders and anyone who is interested in building a suicide safer community.  Prism's Team is trained in Mental Health First Adi and Youth Mental Health First Aid.  ASIST Trained Staff are also available. Contact us at


Here are the evidence-based, suicide prevention training programs have been selected:

Suicide Alertness for Everyone (safeTALK)

Youth Mental Health First Aid

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST)

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)

At-Risk for HighSchool Educators (available online)

ACT on FACTS(available online)

More than Sad – Suicide Prevention Education for Teachersand other School Personnel

Be a Link!Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Training


Prism Joins the AZ Suicide Prevention Team

PRISM NETWORK Joins State and Local Agencies to Support Suicide Prevention

Prism Network recently teamed up with the Arizona Health Department's Suicide Prevention Team! We are now serving on both the Suicide Mortality Review Team (SMR team) and the LGBTQ+ Specific Work Group. Both the SMR Team and the LGBTQ+ Work Group will help to determine what programming will be included in the statewide suicide prevention literature.

Here is an excellent article about the Arizona Team and Project Manager Joshua Stegemeyer READ IT HERE

The article is written by Bradley Sndyer of Talking About Kids, a weekly podcast for parents, educators, and direct service providers and called "How state agencies are supporting suicide prevention"

Our Team will use information from the   National Fatality Review-Case Reporting System (NFR-CRS) to identify areas in the Arizona Suicide Prevention Program that need improvement and help to bridge the disparities that exist for vulnerable  populations. Learn more about NFR_CRS Here.

One area of improvement already identified by the Team is the need for suicide screening for health care providers, clinics and hospitals.

"Many people who die by suicide have recently had contact with a doctor." *

We know that many underserved populations such as our LGBTQ+ Community experience even more challenges when trying to navigate the Health Care System.

The combined need for both LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Training and Suicide Screening for Health Care Professionals is dire, driving this statewide effort to improve access to critical care.

In a 2020, the Center for American Progress conducted a study called The State of the LGBTQ Community in 2020. The survey interviewed 1,528 adults who self-identified as LGBTQ ages 18 and older. . See the Full Study HERE.

Here are the some of the results of the study: 

  • More than 1 in 3 LGBTQ Americans faced discrimination of some kind in the past year, including more than 3 in 5 transgender Americans.
  • Discrimination adversely affects the mental and economic well-being of many LGBTQ Americans, including 1 in 2 who report moderate or significant negative psychological impacts.
  • To avoid the experience of discrimination, more than half of LGBTQ Americans report hiding a personal relationship, and about one-fifth to one-third have altered other aspects of their personal or work lives.
  • Around 3 in 10 LGBTQ Americans faced difficulties last year accessing necessary medical care due to cost issues, including more than half of transgender Americans.
  • 15 percent of LGBTQ Americans report postponing or avoiding medical treatment due to discrimination, including nearly 3 in 10 transgender individuals.
  • Transgender individuals faced unique obstacles to accessing health care, including 1 in 3 who had to teach their doctor about transgender individuals in order to receive appropriate care.
  • LGBTQ Americans have experienced significant mental health issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The combined need for both LGBTQ+Inclusivity Training and Suicide Screening for Health Care Professionals is dire

Prism Network is proud to be partnering with all of the amazing agencies dedicated to finding solutions and improving access for all!

Access the Prism Network Suicide Prevention Resource Page HERE

Contact us at

One of the Programs aimed addressing these issues is the ZERO SUICIDE MODEL.

Action Alliance logo

The Zero Suicide Model acknowledges the fact that Health Workers are on the front lines of Suicide Prevention and has developed a way for primary healthcare providers, clinics and hospitals to screen patients for suicide. "


From the Zero Suicide Website:

"Zero Suicide is based on the realization that people experiencing suicidal thoughts and urges often fall through the cracks in a sometimes fragmented and distracted health care system"

"Zero Suicide is a commitment to suicide prevention in health and behavioral health care systems and is also a specific set of strategies and tools. The foundational belief of Zero Suicide is that suicide deaths for individuals under care within health and behavioral health systems are preventable."

"Zero Suicide presents both a bold goal and an aspirational challenge. Organizations that have used this approach found a 60-80% reduction in suicide rates among those in care."*

Learn more about the Zero Suicide Model mission, framework and process at

Combined with LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Training and identifying Safe and Inclusive Health Agencies this method could definitely save lives!

*Article by Brad, Talking about Kids, How state agencies are supporting suicide prevention,Released Sept 19, 2022, accessed 9/27/22.

*SPM Partner Toolkit

Greater Yavapai County Coalition is now PRISM NETWORK!


Since becoming a 501C3 in 2019, the
Greater Yavapai County Coalition or GYCC has supported programs and resources for the LGBTQ+ Community in Northern Arizona, specifically in Yavapai County.

GYCC'S Original Logo Circa 2019

Take a look at our first Logo- Vintage 2018!

Over the years!  Greater Yavapai County Coalition has brought Programs, Resources and Events to Rural Northern Arizona and Yavapai County.

Here are some of the programs that GYCC has developed:  
Faith Bridge- Providing Inclusive Faith Connections
NAZGEM- Northern Arizona Gender Mentor’s Network
Grow Our Own- Garden for the Community
GYCC’s Family and Friends Picnic
GYCC’s Turn About Ball

The name Greater Yavapai County Coalition served us well!

The next evolution of GYCC’s Logo

With an amazing, hard working team and the help of a vibrant and supportive LGBTQ+ Community, GYCC has built partnerships and joined coalitions that have brought support and resources to our rural Northern Arizona Areas.

GYCC was thrilled to receive the Finding the Good Award for their Covid Box Support Program

GYCC has partnered with:

…to name a few

As GYCC we have also become involved in the Organizations that provide support to Yavapai County.

GYCC is a part of

  • Over the last two years, through the Pandemic, GYCC has rolled up it’s sleeves and become involved with First Responders, Community Health Organizations and many Agencies that provide basic support such as housing, emergency food and shelter and advocacy.

We started the Covid Support Box Program which has provided over 200 Boxes to individuals, children and families who are dealing with Covid.

GYCC is a part of this Community and as we head into 2022, we hope to become even more involved in building an inclusive, safe and vibrant Northern Arizona.

In 2022, we wanted a name that could move forward with us. One that represented the LGBTQ+ Community and was easily identified and remembered when it was on a list of Resources and Service Organizations.

We invited the LGBTQ+ Community to get involved with name suggestions and had a great response! We narrowed the names from seventy, to ten to three and after much careful thought, finally agreed on PRISM NETWORK


A huge thanks to everyone who took the time to share their vision of what they wanted GYCC to become.  Stay tuned as we update our Website and Logos over the next month.

We would love to hear from you!  Send us your thoughts and ideas to

And Welcome to PRISM NETWORK!

GYCC is Ready to GROW OUR OWN in 2022




               Let’s grow food in our own backyards!

GYCC’s Garden Planted

In 2020 GYCC launched our GROW OUR OWN Garden for the Community Project

Check out the GYCC Straw Bale Garden Here!

CHECK OUT A VIDEO OF THE GYCC “Grow Our Own” Garden Here

Molly Beverly is a Chef, Creative Food Activist and Teacher.who works with Slow Food USA and  Chairs Slow Food Prescott.  Check out her long list of accomplishments here!


You can fill out an application to participate in Grow Food In Your Backyard

Gardener Request:

If you would like to apply for a  Garden Mentor:  Applications:

Watch our Blog for More Garden News as we start our Seedlings for 2022!

United Way Shows Up in a Big Way!

United Way “Shows Up” with Donation to GYCC’s Covid Support Box Program!

Left to Right: Molly Freibott, Nina Saim, Kristie Bandie, Hannah Leonard

With the Omicron Varient surging, the Greater Yavapai County Coalition, GYCC, has struggled to keep up with the demand for Covid Support Boxes. Supplies were getting low…then we got the call from  the United Way of Yavapai County! They showed up with a huge Donation!

Learn more about United Way Yavapai County and the amazing ways they are serving our Community!

Over 200 boxes have gone out to individuals, children and families who have tested positive with Covid.  This has serviced over 400 people! The goal of the program is to help keep people out of the ER as much as possible.



The Boxes include:

  • Digital Fingertip Oxygen Monitor
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Hydration and Electrolyte Replacement
  • Over the Counter Cold Medicines including Acetaminophen
  • PPE (Masks, Gloves, Hand Sanitizer, Sanitizing Cleaner, Anti Bacterial Soap
  • Crackers and Granola Bars- Foods that don’t need any preparation when in quarantine
  • Stuffed Animals, Blankets and other comfort items

Find out More about GYCC’s Covid Support Box Program and how you can help HERE

One Families Story- GYCC’s Covid Support Box Program

United Way’s Donation is going to fill so many Boxes!!!  Check out this great spread!

Learn more about what United Way is doing in Yavapai County HERE!


GYCC launched the COVID Support Box Program in response to families testing positive for Covid.

GYCC provided over 175 COVID SUPPORT BOXES to Community Members, Agencies, Families and children. These boxes supported over 400 individuals! Most boxes go to entire families with children who have tested positive.
Learn more about GYCC’s Covid Support Box Here:

This was the case with Vonda’s Family.

Here’s her story!

Vonda: In our situation, we found ourselves with 11 people in our house due to my roommate getting temporary custody of 6 of her grandchildren overnight and the father flying in from Washington state.

Unfortunately, the youngest child brought COVID home and it spread throughout the house over a 4 week period.

As soon as GYCC members found out we had COVID, they delivered two boxes that contained all the medicine we needed for adults and children, snacks, Gatorade, thermometer, oximeter, gloves, sanitizer, masks, basically everything we needed and couldn’t go out and get for ourselves.

The relief that was provided in having these items delivered was immense and allowed us to focus on resting and not going out into the community and spreading COVID.

I brought a box to another person who had COVID and she said the same thing—she actually was taken to the hospital because her oxygen levels got too low and because of the oximeter in the box, she was able to monitor her 02 and get the help she needed before she got worse.

Thank you to all the people involved in getting these boxes out!

Vonda Chisholm

Help us fill 100 more Boxes to help Families struggling with Covid!

Boxes include:

  • Digital 02 Fingertip Monitor
  • Digital Thermometer
  • Hydration/Electrolyte Replacement
  • OTC Acetaminophen/Cold Medicine
  • PPE: Masks, Gloves, Hand Sanitizer, Sanitizing Spray, Disinfecting Hand Soap
  • Granola Bars/Crackers
  • Comfort Items:  Stuffed Animals, Blankets, Craft Supplies, Toys depending on availability



Mid 2020, GYCC began to receive urgent requests for COVID SUPPORT BOXES from Community Members and Families testing positive with Covid. In response, GYCC launched the COVID SUPPORT BOX PROGRAM

As of December 2021, GYCC has provided over 175 COVID SUPPORT BOXES to Community Members, Agencies, Families and children. These boxes have provided support to over 400 individuals and are often delivered to entire families with children who have tested positive.



The main goal of the GYCC’S COVID SUPPORT BOX PROGRAM is to keep Covid Positive Adults, Children and Families out of overcrowded Hospitals.  First, the boxes allows them to monitor their oxygen levels and temperature at home.  This results in less visits to Emergency Rooms.  Second, PPE and Hydration/Electrolyte replacement aids in prevention of spread and recovery.  As a result, we see fewer readmissions.

The Average COVID SUPPORT BOX Contains:
Digital Oxygen Monitor
Digital Thermometer
Hydration/Electrolyte Replacement (ie: Pedialyte, Gatorade)
PPE (Masks, gloves, Sanitizing Cleaner, Hand Sanitizer, etc

Over the Counter Medications
Basic Quarantine Snack Foods (Granola Bars, Crackers etc)
Comfort Items (Books, stuffed animals, blankets)

The COVID SUPPORT BOXES include also include Sanitization Supplies, basic food support and comfort items for isolation when available.

A large volume of Urgent calls for Covid Support Boxes are from those who are very sick. Many have been hospitalized at least once and are now having to quarantine. As a result, they are often unable to get the supplies they need to keep themselves and their family members safe.


In response to the high volume of Urgent Calls with Children who test positive for COVID, GYCC has created Family Boxes.

These include:

Pediatric Masks and PPE, Pediatric Over-the-Counter Medicine, stuffed animals and comfort items such as blankets and toys.  This is in addition to the regular box contents.


GYCC’s Community Partners have been an essential part of the Program.  They have provided Donations and Collected Items from community members.



Donations can be made at

If you or someone you love has tested positive for COVID Contact GYCC at

Support the LGBTQ+ Community and Get a Tax Credit


PCA and Finding the Good Team


And April 15th is just around the corner!

Your Donation of up to $800.00 to the Greater Yavapai County Coalition qualifies for the Arizona Tax Credit!

  • You can support GYCC’s many Community Programs and your donation can be included in your Federal Tax Deduction in addition to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit!GYCC is a qualifying 501C3! Our GYCC EIN is 82-1840844
    How does it work?
    1) Donate to GYCC here:
    2) File your taxes and claim the credit (up to $800) by using AZDOR for 321.
    3) Receive your tax credit of up to $800 for married filing and $400 for all other filers.
  • GYCC will issue a Donation receipt right away.
  • Get Started and let’s get to work!

Invisible Men


Invisible Men was launched March 31, 2018 by Luckie Alexandar, a trans man and is a Transman who is an advocate exacting change that builds bridges within the LGBTQI community.  His organization creates resources and support around transmasculine folks and trans parents.

About the Founder

Invisible Men began as a platform for people of transmasculine experience to have the ability to tell their narrative’s instead of being handed who they were according to the world. There was a documentary released in June of 2018 called Man Made that had various trans men and even a mother who raised a trans man expressing their different experiences.

Take some time to view Man Made here:

In the beginning there were 12 trans masculine individuals who told their stories and given visibility to an otherwise invisible population. They are called legacies.  You can read their stories here.

Each year more and more legacies have been added to the website to share their stories. Over time, the creator of Invisible Men realized that there was so much more that the organization can do for the community. Invisible men started to hold workshops and hosting events.

They became study subjects for a UC Berkeley research project, launched a mentor program called Junior Legacies, had a binder exchange and giveaway, and had a first invisible woodsman camping program.

Invisible Men has tabled at Los Angeles pride, trans pride, competence human trafficking events and many other events. Invisible Man currently gives out transition assistant scholarships and since the inception of Invisible Men have given out four. In 2019, Invisible Men had given out 12 binders, 10 suits, and four clothing care packages.

Tabling @ Breaking the chains – ending human TRAFFICKING in compton, ca

They have also  helped people with their name changes and help them to achieve their goals of starting hormones. Many of the Groups “Legacies” have supported other community members during surgery recovery which would include check-up calls and messages as well as visiting during recovery if they were in the same area.  

On October 17, 2020, Invisible Men launched its first chapter in Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta chapter had fed ten families during Thanksgiving and have handed out over 15 care packages. As the Atlanta chapter grows so do the services that they provide. Watch the Atlanta Chapter Launch Video Here

Invisible Men is currently working on a few new projects which include Recess: Healing thru Play, Love and Art: Healing thru Art, transmasculine specific cultural competency training, and a Wellness initiative. Invisible men currently offer healthy masculinity release emotional coping and support as well as HIV prevention and more.

The creator of this organization, Alexander, has a long history of advocacy, supporting and providing resources to the LGBTQ community, black community, and the trans community. He is also the mind behind the design for the “All Black Lives Matter” mural on Hollywood Blvd in California.

His passion to help and give back runs deep in his soul. I have the pleasure and the privilege to know him and be there with him every step of the way as invisible men grows.

Alexander is my mentor and a mentor to so many others I am happy to stand side by side with him in the fight for equality anthophyte for those who may feel invisible. Invisible Man is here for them and most importantly we want them to know did we see you, we are here for you, and you are loved.

Find out more about Invisible Men and Donate Here

GYCC Receives the Finding and Making Good Award


GYCC Recieves Finding and Making the Good Award

We met at Prescott Center for the Arts, where the center was also receiving an award for their program PCA Serves

The Greater Yavapai Community Coalition (GYCC) is thrilled to receive the community’s “Finding and Making Good” Award!

Beautiful Arrangement from Allen’s Flowers: Molly Freibott, John Duncan and Sylvia Ximi of GYCC

The Prescott “Finding and Making Good Program” is run by a group of local volunteers. They actively seek out  people and organizations doing selfless acts in the Community.

Check out the Daily Courier’s Article Here.

 PCA and Finding the Good Team

The group is a also a part of the El Gato Community Gives Program. Their mission is “celebrating people doing, living and creating positivity without expecting anything in return.”

GYCC received the award for their COVID Response Action Plan-Emergency Box Program.

Because of the Pandemic, GYCC was receiving urgent daily requests from Covid Positive Community Members with moderate symptoms.  Local Hospitals were full and as a result, they were being asked to Isolate/Quarantine at home

GYCC  committed  to keeping  as many COVID-positive people out of the hospitals as possible. COVID support boxes contain 14 days of supplies and are focused on helping COVID-positive people manage and monitor their symptoms at home. Supplies focus on oxygen and temperature monitors.

In addition, they include PPE for everyone in the household; disinfecting/sanitizing products; hydration and electrolyte support and shelf-stable food items.

GYCC distributed 38 boxes with the help of other local agencies such as Big Brother Big Sister, AARP and the Prescott Odd Fellows.  The cost of 10 boxes is approximately $800.  GYCC wants to give a big thanks to everyone in the Community who donated supplies and funding!

To join in the effort or contribute to the cause, contact Molly Freibott or John Duncan at, or donate at the website

To learn more, or to nominate someone in the Community who is “making the good,” visit or visit their Facebook Page.

Find out more about PCA’s events here:

Learn more about El Gato Azul here:

Check out this Article in Signals about El Gato Community Gives here:

Grow Our Own 2021….we made it!


Spring 2021! We actually, finally made it!

2020 was the longest year in history!


Racism.  Division.

Civil Unrest.

Disruption of supply chains.  Over flowing Hospitals.

Nothing is the same as it was a year ago and unfortunately, we’re not through yet.

Everything is different….everything except…Spring!

In March 2020…the Pandemic had just started. Because of this, supply chains were down and food supplies were worrisomely unstable. Not to mention we were all worried if we would ever have enough toilet paper?

Because of this, GYCC decided to start a new program “Grow Our Own; A Garden for the Community”

A Garden brings hope and sustainability, together with a sense of Community; even during a lockdown!

Actual Produce from GYCC’s Garden

But how do you start a Community Garden quickly with only a plot of orange clay dirt, weeds and a shockingly tiny budget of $150.00?

The answer? Straw Bales!

Click Here to read about how we got our Straw Bale Garden Started!

Because straw bales are cheap and can be placed almost anywhere, we were able to get started suprisingly fast!  Here is our Fall 2020 “Grow Our Own Garden” planted out:

GYCC’s Garden Planted

It’s finally one year later and because Straw Bales are so positively hardy, we are able to use them for a second year!

Here is the Straw Bale Garden just a few weeks ago in March of 2021!

After an entire year of lockdown and “stay-home-everything”, we were desperately ready to get out in the garden!

But March had other ideas….

What do you when 2021 gives  you snow when you want to be gardening?

You build a DIY Straw Bale Greenhouse!

Ugly?  Absolutely!  Functional?  Heck yes!

The bales are heating and because we are early, we can start our own seeds!

Starting our own seeds!

Stay tuned and join us for weekly updates!

Together we can build a stronger Community in 2021….one bale at a time!

Important Info for Downwinders


If you are over 55 you may have been impacted by nuclear testing or uranium mining in Arizona/Nevada/Utah/Colorado/New Mexico area in the 50’s and 60’s. The following information and links will help you figure out if you are entitled to compensation for illnesses that arose out of nuclear exposure.

The US government webpage is . RECA stands for Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. The reason we are publishing this information is that the deadline for filing is July of 2022 and it may take a while to compile the necessary information.

There is a clinic in Flagstaff that is overseeing screening for Northern Arizona. Here is the link to that site:

While the nuclear testing happened a long time ago, the affects may occur any time after the exposure period. We hope this may be of help to you.

Following is from the RECA website


The United States conducted nearly 200 atmospheric nuclear weapons development tests from 1945 to 1962. Essential to the nation’s nuclear weapons development was uranium mining and processing, which was carried out by tens of thousands of workers.

Following the conclusion of these activities, lawsuits against the United States alleged failure to warn of exposures to known radiation hazards. These suits were dismissed by the appellate courts. Congress responded by devising a program allowing partial restitution to individuals who developed serious illnesses after presumed exposure to radiation released during the atmospheric nuclear tests or after employment in the uranium industry.  The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act was passed on October 5, 1990. The Act’s scope of coverage was broadened on July 10, 2000.

This unique statute was designed to serve as an expeditious, low-cost alternative to litigation. Significantly, RECA does not require claimants to establish causation. Rather, claimants qualify for compensation by establishing the diagnosis of a listed compensable disease after working or residing in a designated location for a specific period of time. This determination is being done by North Country Healthcare in Flagstaff, which was referenced earlier in a weblink.

Is "Tolerance" a Good Thing?


I have a confession to make: I cringe each time I hear someone say they practice tolerance. Being a full supporter of equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, wouldn’t I be happy to hear people “practice tolerance”? Why would I have that inner reaction?

I might “tolerate” bad weather, someone cursing, loud music in a peaceful park, or rude drivers. Each of these has negative impact which might require tolerance. Someone being a part of the LGBTQ+ community does not have a negative impact on me, and thus there is nothing for me to “tolerate”.

Am I merely not understanding the meaning of the word? I checked with Merriam-Webster (

  • First definition: “capacity to endure pain or hardship: ENDURANCE, FORTITUDE, STAMINA” (capitalization theirs). When I work with someone who identifies as LGBTQ+, I’m certainly not thinking about how I have to “endure” them! Having people who are different is a benefit, not a hardship.
  • Second definition, part a: “sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own”. In no way do I feel like I am “indulging” LGBTQ+ people because their “practices differ from or conflict with” mine. We are all different; I no more have to “indulge” someone for being in that group than someone who has different colored eyes or hair than I do, or whom prefers a different flavor of ice cream. There is no need for sympathy or to “indulge” them for being different than me. To the contrary I am happy to embrace diversity.
  • Second definition, part b: “the act of allowing something: TOLERATION”. I most certainly don’t “allow” someone to be lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, etc. any more than they “allow” me to be straight. They simply are who they are and I am who I am. Nothing to tolerate either way.
  • Third definition, “the allowable deviation from a standard”. “Standard” according to whom? It is not “standard” to fit all common “categories” — and if someone was normal in all ways that in itself would be non-standard.

None of the definitions of “tolerance” seem to fit the idea of acceptance, and yet it is often used.The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) talks about tolerance in multiple mission statement examples.

November 16th is the International Day For Tolerance.

There’s a website on Teaching Tolerance.

The U.N. has “Declaration of Principles on Tolerance”, which is interesting to read and may be key as to why tolerance has been used with LGBTQ+ people. There they have their own definition of tolerance!

Regardless of how the U.N. defines tolerance, most dictionaries seem to agree with Merriam-Webster and the word certainly carries the connotation of tolerating something that is bad or annoying.

Wouldn’t it be better to use the word inclusive? Again back to Merriam-Webster: “including everyone especially: allowing and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability)”. (Italics theirs)

Tolerance or inclusive, what do you think?

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.

2020-21 School Year Starting in Days… What Options Do I Have?


With COVID-19 still on the rampage and school starting soon (for AZ, August 6th!), many of us are wondering what our schooling options are. Do we send our kids to a brick-and-mortar? Buy or create a curriculum to homeschool? Enroll in an online school?

What is safe for my children and family? How do I know what is the right decision for my family? If I do decide to go with an online school, which one? In this article we will explore those options and hopefully help you decide what is best for your family.


First, a quick definition: A brick-and-mortar school is any physical school your child might attend.

PUSD is currently planning on starting school on August 6th with two weeks of online school and then potentially moving to face-to-face classes, depending on what the recommendations from the Arizona Department of Education Roadmap. They discuss more of this here:

For some, students and parents, the uncertainty of how school is going to happen this year may be stressful and your family may desire a more predictable school year.

Also, there is the concern of contracting or spreading COVID-19. Schools, unfortunately, with their inevitable close contact, are one of the biggest ways to spread this pandemic, no matter the precautions taken!

If not a brick-and-mortar, then what?


It is important to make decisions based on your children and family unit. There is no one-size fits all when it comes to schooling options. Know your limitations and capabilities because it can make or break how things go.

To start with, ask yourself these three questions:

Is your child self-motivated or do they need someone to hold their hand along the way?

A lot will depend on your children’s ages and personalities.

Ask yourself:

  • How available are you for them, especially if you have younglings?
  • Do you have the ability to multi-task well? If not, is this something you can and are willing to learn?

For homeschooling, our experience is that in grades K-4 they needed a lot more hands on assistance from us and less as they’ve gotten older

What style of learning does my child learn best with?

Because we live in a state that doesn’t have specific requirements for homeschooling, you can do whatever you feel is best. You can teach in whatever way you want, leave out or add any subject, and set your own schedule for schooling. You don’t need to check in with anyone to make sure you are “in school”, testing is up to you, and you have many other benefits, though this also means you are largely left unchecked if you are unintentionally leaving out important parts of a curriculum.

If you do use your own curriculum you need to let the county know that you are planning on schooling at home. This is a very simple process and only takes minutes.

You will need to print an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool ( Along with this document you will need a copy of your child’s birth certificate, have the affidavit notarized, and send it into the county. Here is the mailing address and phone number for Yavapai County:
Tim Carter
2970 Centerpointe East Drive,
Prescott, AZ 86301

If this is the road you want to explore, I recommend connecting with a local homeschooling group and ask questions; they are an awesome resource!

How much does homeschooling cost?

Homeschooling can be as expensive or inexpensive as you’d like! There are pre-made curriculum available; some by subject, some by grade, religious preferences, teaching method, field trips, and the list goes on. With that said, you will likely find you want materials to best serve the needs of your children. This can include the basics like pencils and paper and other common office supplies, to materials needed for science experiments or other materials you might not have at home. There are many resources to find lessons that use fairly inexpensive materials.

Another Option: Online Schools

There are variety of free online public schools. There are also virtual private and / or religious schools that vary abundantly in prices.

If you decide to enroll in a public online school, you do not need to file an Affidavit of Intent to Homeschool.

To learn more about a school, you can check out the website and / or call them and ask questions such as these:

  1. What kind of computer and / or browser works with the school’s system?
  2. Does the school supply textbooks and other items needed for class (such as science experiments)?
  3. Is the school accredited, and if so by what organization(s)?
  4. What is the ratio of students to teachers?
  5. Are there any hidden fees?
  6. Lastly, what is the expected role as a parent?

Of course, not all kids are the same. With our kids, now grades 8 and 9, we certainly are supportive and help them when needed, but for the most part they are successful with an online school without much assistance or prodding from us. At the same time, we make ourselves available should they need us.

Below are some free public online school options.

    Arizona Connections Academy

Grades: K-12

    Arizona Virtual Academy

Grades: K-12

    Primavera Online School

Grades: K-12

    Hope High School Online

Grades: 9-12

    ASU Digital Prep

Grades: K-12

    Insight Academy of Arizona

Grades: 7-12

The links below will give you an idea of what will be taught using an accredited online school. These links will also help familiarize you with the terms used in online schooling and supply answers to more questions and / or concerns you may have:

Arizona is a state that offers a wide variety of options for schooling; brick-and-mortar, homeschooling, and online schools. Remember, this is doesn’t have to be a rest-of-school-life decision. Just take one year at a time and adjust as needed.

If you have more questions or concerns, I recommend joining Arizona Homeschool Chapter (, a local homeschooling group. I found the families to be incredibly helpful and supportive with both creating a curriculum and doing online schooling.

Anne & Michael Glasser make a great writing team. Anne likes to write and Michael is a fantastic editor! Bilby, Michael’s pocket bear, is the Editor in Chief! They have two magnificent teens who are constantly teaching them how to make this world a better place, and they are listening.

GYCC Addresses Hate Filled Student Video


As many of you are already aware, there was recently a video captured of a local Prescott High School student making hateful and threatening remarks toward the LGBTQ+ community. GYCC has been in communication with Prescott Unified School District, Launchpad Teen Center and others involved with our community to assure action is being taken to keep our community safe.

GYCC Board Members met with PHS Faculty and PUSD representatives this morning over Google Meet. Everyone in attendance was on the same page that more action needs to be taken to support the LGBTQ+ youth in our area, and staff of the school and school district are listening to our community.

Know that there are long-term plans to implement inclusive education and support for our LGBTQ+ students.

You can get more info about the incident that began the discussion, and our response, on our blog. Link is below.

Content warning: This post describes explicit threats of violence and hate speech against the LGBTQ+ community.


If you are having a hard time and need support or resources,
please reach out to us.