There’s a woman I’d like to send back to school. Not to learn, but to teach. Her name is Sarah Prager. She’s a 28-year-old “app-repreneur” who last July launched Quist, the free app that brings events in LGBTQ history to life on smart phones and tablets. Everyday on Quist I learn something from queer world history that occurred on that date.
More than 18,000 people have downloaded the Quist app. It reaches users in 100+ countries, including those like Russia and Jamaica, where it’s difficult or dangerous to access LGBTQ information. There are more than 800 historical events in the app, and new ones are added everyday. But that’s not why I want Sarah to go back to school. And it’s not why others are clamoring for her return, either.
Quist’s mission is to educate the world about the roots of the LGBTQ community, make LGBTQ history more engaging and relevant, and let LGBTQ youth know that others have shared their struggle.
Sarah’s been doing all of the above at high schools, universities, and conferences around the U.S. She wants to take her history lessons to middle schools, too. Invitations from across the country are coming in, and some from abroad, too. Most of the time it’s to talk to students about the importance of LGBTQ history and teach them some.
I can’t think of anything more important. And I can’t help but think how meaningful those lessons would have been for my son Harry and his middle school and junior high classmates.
According to GLSEN’s 2011 National School Climate Survey, the vast majority of students weren’t taught positive representations of LGBT people, history or events in any of their classes. GLSEN works with teachers to broaden their curriculum. Sarah Prager takes LGBTQ history lessons to students in the classroom.
But right now Quist is an unfunded project. And while grant requests are out, airline tickets cost money that middle schools and high schools don’t have. Don’t you agree those young students need to know and understand the LGBTQ community’s place in history?
So here’s my idea. Download the free Quist app on your phone or tablet. I know you’ll learn something surprising. Then I hope you’ll donate to Quist and help send Sarah and her history worth sharing back to school. Aside from feeling good, you’ll get something cool in the mail from Sarah. And how cool to make a little quistory.
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