Author Jason Reynolds Meets Virtually with Falcon Students

Val Guerrero, Staff Writer

Jason Reynolds is an American author who writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences, including Ghost, a National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature. He is also an ambassador for young people’s literature and he makes it a point to visit small towns across America to have meaningful discussions with young people. With more than 200 proposals that were received across the United States in April 2021, a total of eight schools were selected and Los Fresnos CISD was one of them.

On December 17th, Jason Reynolds presented himself to the school virtually through a zoom call. Two student ambassadors from the secondary classes were chosen to speak to Reynolds to keep the conversation going. Reynolds clearly motivated a good amount of students that were chosen to participate in this visit.

On the day of the zoom meeting, there were a good amount of students in the library that had read one of  Reynolds’ books. The class was called in to meet Reynolds and hear what he had to say to some questions a teacher and two students asked him.

One of the questions Reynolds was asked was “What can kids do to celebrate their own personal stories?” His response was “Anything they want. Nothing should get in the way of your self expression when it comes to writing your own story.” He told the students that they own their own story, to just write, forget about punctuation and proper writing skills. Just write.

He spoke about how quitting is okay. He told students that sometimes quitting is helpful and it’s okay to walk away from something.

“It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hardest, you should,” Reynolds said. “But if it is harming you and if you feel like you’re not certain, then quit. Now this isn’t an excuse to be lazy or to quit. Everyone you know in your life has quit something, and that’s okay.”

So many students of our age struggle with a lot of things. Sometimes most don’t quit something even if it hurts them. They continue doing it to make others happy. Quitting is something that can be useful, and Reynolds explained that quite well.

Mrs. Nixon and the librarians were also quite excited about this zoom meeting as they were happily taking pictures and recording the zoom meeting with Reynolds. 

When Reynolds expressed to the students how writing comes in all shapes and forms and although it may be stressful at times as well, creativity can be shown in writing. Reynolds left the students’ minds open with how reading and writing can be expressed, and that it can be a life changer to those who want to experience it. Reynolds talk with the students has inspired many to write about their own thoughts and feelings.