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LGBTQ Support Group Expanding to Middle School Students in Charlottesville

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A Virginia-based LGBTQ group is expanding its counseling program in Charlottesville to include middle school students.

Side by Side has been in the Charlottesville area for six years, serving as a resource for LGBTQ high school students. 

The new middle school expansion will be an 8-week program where kids can connect with others with similar identities.

There will also be a support group for parents.

“We sort of get to see this transformation of a youth that will come to us often feeling isolated and alone, feeling scared and sometimes being bullied in school. And, we get a chance to connect them to other youths, give them a chance to connect to resources, and help build resiliency along with their parents and it's amazing to watch,” said Ted Lewis, executive director of Side by Side. 

The group started in Richmond, and has now expanded to Charlottesville and Petersburg.

They expect to meet every Sunday starting October 1.