So far in 2022, we've produced 49 Drag Story Hour programs for 34 individual public schools and special needs schools in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. In May, we launched Reading with Royalty, our new middle grade and YA book discussion program for middle and high school students, with discussion questions on five of our favorite queer middle grade and YA books. This year, we have also provided four paid trainings for our drag storytellers, on topics ranging from working with older adults to redefining beauty in drag.
But we need your support to continue providing quality free and low-cost programs for public schools.
It costs us $600 to produce each DSH program, but we only charge public schools $300 per program, and we offer a limited number of free programs for schools that can't afford the fee.
Last year, we received $3900 from the NYC Department of Education to subsidize our free and low-cost programs in public schools. This year, we didn’t receive that funding and had to stop offering programs at our subsidized rate toward the end of the school year. This Pride month, we’re aiming to raise $6000 so that we can continue to provide free and low-cost programs for public school this fall.
What Your Donation Will Fund
It costs DQSH NYC $600 to produce one in-person DSH program for a public school, including the cost of paying the storyteller and event facilitator, supplies, and administrative costs of coordinating the program. With a capacity to serve up to 60 students per event, this means we can help public schools build confidence and celebrate differences for $10 per student.
A donation of just $10 allows us to reach one child, and a donation of $600 helps us reach a whole class of students. If we can reach our goal of $10,000, we will be able to fully cover the cost of programs for 16 public schools, or subsidize programs for 32 schools.
This Pride month, help us keep bringing free and low-cost Drag Story Hour programs to NYC public schools!
As we celebrate Pride month and approach the end of the school year, we want to take a moment to share the impact that Drag Story Hour NYC has had in NYC public schools. Educators are calling our programs “powerful,” “glorious,” “crucial,” and “a fun way to celebrate what makes us unique.” Eric Vaughan, the former LGBTQ+ Program Manager at the NYC Department of Education, said that Drag Story Hour “has truly changed the culture in many schools and has helped to open up dialogue as it pertains to gender Identity.” [Scroll down for more testimonials!]
How You Can Help
1. Share this campaign with your networks on Instagram, Facebook, and email!
2. Make a donation in any amount. You can also opt to support our work year-round with a recurring donation!
3. Make a donation of $600 or more to sponsor a Drag Story Hour program at a public school and see your name or business listed on our website.
SEE WHAT EDUCATORS AND STUDENTS
ARE SAYING ABOUT US...
"P141K is a District 75 school that serves students with significant disabilities. This is the second year that P141K has had the opportunity to participate in Drag Story Hour and our staff and students have truly enjoyed it both years. As a school we have felt the story choices were academically appropriate for the cognitive levels of our students and they also shared important messages with our students that they can take with them as use in everyday life. The storytellers were friendly and engaging, as well as respectful of the different abilities of our students. They asked questions our students would be able to answer and gave ample wait time to allow our students to process these questions and come up with a response. P141K looks forward to participating in more Drag Story Hour events."
—Nicole D'Alessio, Teacher, P 141K
"Dragtivity Time and The Art of Drag Makeup Tutorial were by far the most attended and popular workshops at the GSA Summit. My colleague who was the room monitor for the drag makeup tutorial actually just approached me with some major GLOWS. He raved about how amazing the makeup was, but even more than that, how the artist engaged the audience with anecdotes from their own gender journey, and their love for the art form. Thank you!"
—Kalima McKenzie-Simms, Manager of LGBTQ Programs,
NYC Department of Education
"I am the librarian at PS32 Samuel Mills Sproles. We hosted Drag Story Hour for our entire school. The event, which promotes both literacy and empathy, was a glorious success! Harmonica Sunbeam read books that affirm children embracing their own identities. She answered their questions with honesty, respect and humor, and even before the visit had ended the children were asking when she could come again. Both parents and teachers reached out afterwards to share how powerful and celebratory the program was for our community, and we will most certainly be making Drag Story Hour a regular event in our school."
—Daphne Benedis-Grab, Teacher, PS 32
“This experience lightened my day and not only was it fun listening to a sassy, energetic and color-loaded drag queen read and sang in the most hilarious voices, we also got to learn important life lessons everyone should learn from the hour. She was marvelously funny in the most hilarious ways. Parents, teachers and children especially love the enthusiasm!”
—7th Grader, The Computer School
“As a teacher, I had so much fun during DSH. What impressed me most was how some students I never thought would even attend such an event were not only there, they were engaged in a way I haven't seen them all year. It brought a wide range of students (and adults) together and was such a fun way to celebrate what makes us unique.”
—Michael N., Teacher, The Computer School
"I'm an elementary teacher at PS 118 in Park Slope. We were the first school to welcome DSH into our building back in 2017 and we've worked with them ever since. They are a group of fantastic educators and it's an event our children and families look forward to all year. Through this program, our students have learned compassion, kindness, and acceptance. It is a crucial part of our curriculum and it's so beautiful for our students to gain a different perspective than what they see in mainstream media. They have the opportunity to ask questions and be curious."
—Samantha Cruz, Teacher, PS 118
"DSH is an amazing program and provides students across many diverse backgrounds the opportunity to discuss gender expression and diversity in a safe space. DQSH has truly changed the culture in many schools and has helped to open up dialogue as it pertains to gender identity. The book choices are also great!"
—Eric Vaughan, former Manager of LGBTQ Programs
NYC Department of Education
A local drag queen will read an excerpt from one of our favorite queer YA books and lead a discussion about the book. Participants are encouraged to read the book before attending the program. (This program must be booked a month in advance so that we can plan and announce the book selection and give participants a chance to read the book.)