NYA Civil Rights Team Creates Book About Transgender Lives

Yarmouth, Maine, January 18, 2022: The North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) Middle School Civil Rights Team wrote and illustrated a picture book entitled “Alex” as part of their X-Block elective course. The goal of the book is to educate lower school students on transgender lives. “Alex” is the story of a young transgender girl confiding in her friend the feelings and emotions she is experiencing. Her friend’s supportive reaction is just as important a lesson as the story of Alex.

The group brainstormed, wrote, edited, and illustrated during their meetings over the past couple of months. On Wednesday, January, 18, the team invited Mr. E’s and Mrs. Gagne’s third and fourth grade students for a reading and question-and-answer session.

The Civil Rights Team is an X-Block elective for Ivy Birney ’27, Tess Hogan ‘26, Annie Millar ’27, Hadley Smith ’26, and Phoebe Reilly ’28. They are advised by Middle School history teacher, Maya Burns. “I am incredibly proud of all our students for striving to educate themselves and our community about gender identity and other civil rights issues,” beamed Burns.

Members of the team reported that there are not a lot of books written about the topic of transgender lives for this age group, nor were they taught about it in third and fourth grade. They felt that educating students at a younger age about LGBTQ+ lives creates a more supportive community and culture. “It’s ok, to be who you are,” was the general consensus among the team.

North Yarmouth Academy is an independent, college preparatory, coeducational school for toddlers to post graduate students with an enrollment of over 375 students. Since 1814, NYA has fostered integrity, character, and intellect in its students. For more information, please contact NYA at 207-847-5423 or information@nya.org.