Throughout March, the school hosted seven major events: a women’s only self-defense class, two movie nights; a book group; a historical fashion show; a nationally recognized guest speaker Charlotte Wainsman talking about her book, Her Story: A Timeline of Women Who Changed America; and the annual Women’s History Month tea. These events all focused on the empowerment of women during the past and present.
Tammie Reynolds talked about the evolution of the Women’s History program at G-DRHS that stretch back through her own educational experience. While earning her undergraduate degree, Reynolds joined a women’s history program at Fitchburg State. The program held an annual tea party to represent the date in which women began to speak of independence.
“As a history teacher, I thought there was a need for this type of program. It is an opportunity for young women and men to be in leadership roles and have leadership responsibilities,” she said.
Reynolds recalled the work needed to initiate the program. “I connected myself with the National Women’s History Project, talked to a few students whom I thought may be interested, invested about 2,000 dollars of my own money, and I figured if the program was a success I would possibly receive funding for the next year.”
The annual program has become a success in the community and it has developed a practical side: thousands of dollars in scholarships have been awarded to G-DRHS students over the years.
“The second year of the program, we raised $500 in scholarship money. The third year I was determined to double that amount and $1,000 were given. This year about $5,000 will be given,” Reynolds said.
Reynolds holds high expectations for future programs. “I want to increase the attendance at each event, and increase the ability to offer more scholarship money. Everything we did well this year I expect to do even better next year. I imagine the progress of this club to be exponential.”
Reynolds is writing a guide that she plans to publish, describing how to initiate the program at a high school level.
“I’d love to see more schools want to do this and I want to be implemental in helping them make that a reality. It is a personal and professional goal,” she said.