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Reitz Family Fund grants $20,000 to Falk School Gender Diversity Initiative

Friday, May 5, 2017

We are proud to announce that Falk School was among the 2017 grantees of the Reitz Family Fund.  Created in 2014 through a charitable gift from Michigan resident Kelsey R. Zachow and named in honor of her beloved grandmother, Ruth Reitz, the fund focuses on societal concerns that span generations while providing resources to transform the lives of people and animals. Falk parent Dawn Zachow is President of the fund and brought the opportunity to partner on the issue of Gender Diversity Inclusivity to Falk.  “The trustees of the Reitz Family Fund are thrilled to partner with Falk on this endeavor. This grant will further efforts and thinking already underway at Falk to inform, educate and support gender diversity and inclusivity for students, parents, faculty and staff.” --Falk parent Dawn Zachow, President of the Reitz Family Fund

“All of us at Falk are tremendously grateful for this gift from the Reitz Family Fund,” says Falk Director Jeff Suzik.  “Our commitment to increasing our institutional attention to and expertise with gender inclusivity will be greatly affected by this generous grant.”

The two-year grant will pay for Falk School Counselor Alicia Johnson to attend the Gender Spectrum Inclusive Schools Network Training Program offered by nationally recognized leaders Gender Spectrum. In addition, the Human Rights Campaign Welcoming Schools Initiative will provide professional development training for all Falk Faculty throughout 2017-2018.

The grant will cover the purchase of fiction and non-fiction books on topics related to gender diversity appropriate for K-8 students for the Falk School Library.  Funding will also be provided to facilitate the updating of our sexuality education program for middle school students based on best practices in the field. The grant will also allow for the purchase of training materials for teachers and new classroom materials for students. 

Finally, the grant allows Falk to create a series of Gender Diversity Inclusivity events for families, parents, students and the larger Pittsburgh community. These will include small discussion groups and service learning projects, and will culminate with Falk hosting a screening of the film Bullied sometime in the 2017-2018 school year. We’ll invite parents, faculty and staff, students, as well as the broader Pittsburgh middle school community.