A Valley News Publication

A student from from the Stevens High School GSTA (gay, straight, trans alliance) reads the book ‘I Am Jazz’ at the Charles P. Puksta Library at River Valley Community College in Claremont, N.H., on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017. The book readings in the Claremont/Newport area were organized by Rural Outright. (Photo courtesy Rural Outright – Matt Mooshian.)

I Am Jazz is the story of Jazz Jennings, a transgender teenage activist and youth ambassador for the Human Rights Commission. All across the country on Thursday, communities participated in I Am Jazz readings — including several in the Claremont/Newport area organized by Rural Outright.

According to a nifty map on the HRC website, the readings in the Claremont/Newport area were among three that were officially organized in the Twin States. (The other two were in Essex Junction, Vt., and Gorham, N.H.)

Matt Mooshian is the chairman of Rural Outright, a program of TLC Family Resource Center in Claremont. Its mission is to support and advocacy for rural LGBTQIA* Granite Staters and their allies. Here’s what Matt had to say about the event:

I Am Jazz Day is actually a national event put on by the Human Rights Campaign’s Welcoming Schools Committee. We were planning to observe the day ourselves and contacted Claremont School District about hosting an event — they were very excited and wanted to partner with us to launch a new series: Understanding Diversity & Inclusion Through Children’s Literature. We used I Am Jazz as our first reading to launch the series and it was a great success! We had nearly 100 people from Claremont and Newport. We hosted seven readings across the two communities. We also learned the Newport Headstart had a reading for students & parents. It was truly a great day!

The readings started at noon and continued through 6:30 p.m., and a copy of the book was donated at each location, which, in addition to RVCC and TLC, included Maple Avenue Elementary School, the Fiske Free Library and Richards Free Library.

Check out Rural Outright’s full photo album on the group’s Facebook page.

And, in case you missed I Am Jazz Day yourself, you can actually watch a video of Jennings reading the book online: