Post submitted by Charlie Girard, Former Digital Organizer
On February 28, as part of the fourth annual Jazz & Friends National Day of School and Community Readings, thousands of parents, educators and allies will welcome and support transgender and non-binary youth by hosting readings of affirming children's’ books.
At each event across the country, adults and youth alike will engage in community-based read alouds and discussions of transgender and non-binary identities using children’s books including I Am Jazz, an illustrated book by transgender trailblazer and former HRC Youth Ambassador Jazz Jennings about her experience growing up as transgender. These readings will take place in schools, libraries, places of worship, living rooms and community centers. This year, hosts will also have the option to read one of three books to best fit their community's needs:
I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
They She He Me: Free to Be! by Maya and Matthew Smith-Gonzalez
This annual national day of reading to support transgender and non-binary youth was inspired by the more than 600 residents of rural Mount Horeb, Wisconsin, who supported a young transgender girl and her family after a national anti-LGBTQ hate group bullied her school district.
HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program and the National Education Association sponsor this nationwide act of solidarity to unite in action youth, educators and allies across the country to support transgender and non-binary youth.
HRC Foundation’s Welcoming Schools is the nation’s premier professional development program providing training to elementary school educators to welcome diverse families, create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying and support transgender and gender expansive students. Register to receive HRC’s Welcoming Schools Jazz & Friends Community Readings Organizing Kit to help you organize Jazz & Friends reading events to build more affirming and supportive spaces for transgender and non-binary youth.
For more information visit, HRC.im/JazzAndFriends.