Representatives of more than a dozen local schools will network with LGBT-headed families, youth and allies later this month.
The School Fair for LGBTQ Communities will be held from noon-2 p.m. April 29 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St. The event is being organized by Philadelphia Family Pride, which last held such a fair in 2005.
“We get a lot of requests from schools looking to reach out to our members,” explained PFP executive director Stephanie Haynes. “There are a lot of schools, especially private schools, hoping to add LGBTQ-led families to their mix of families in their schools and we thought, because we get so many requests, it made sense to have an event for the schools to come and talk to all of these parents and families at once.”
Once planning got underway, Haynes said, it became clear that the event should be expanded in a number of ways.
“We decided very quickly to make this an event for anyone in the LGBTQ community: families with LGBTQ kids, LGBTQ youth themselves and then our audience, which is LGBTQ parents,” she said. “We also wanted to expand it beyond private schools.”
The list of 17 schools currently signed up includes private, public and home-school programs, both in the city and the suburbs. They also represent all stages of education, with pre-school programs all the way up through 12th grade involved.
Haynes said organizers took suggestions from PFP members of LGBT-friendly schools they’ve had personal interactions with, and also asked all participants to fill out a questionnaire about their LGBT-affirming policies, curriculum and training.
The schools’ responses will be compiled into a booklet that PFP will have available at the fair, on its website and at upcoming community events like Philadelphia Pride.
Haynes said that, depending on interest in the fair, she’d like to see it become an annual event.
The event is free to attend, and snacks will be provided. Kids’ activities will be provided, though childcare is not available.
In addition to host William Way, PGN is serving as the media sponsor, along with sponsor Equality Pennsylvania.
Additional sponsorship opportunities are available for schools interested in participating. To register a school to participate, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/pfp-school-fair-2017.
For more information on the event, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1850165398575031/.
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