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Author challenges BCMS students to find failure’s silver lining

Filed in Archive, BCMS by on March 19, 2019

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Author and teacher Luke Reynolds, who has penned both fiction and non-fiction books aimed at a middle school audience, was at Bethlehem Middle School on Monday, March 18 with a message of understanding and reassurance for sixth-grade students. The guest author tapped into his most recent works to encourage students to embrace who they are, and to see mistakes or failures as opportunities to learn and grow.

Reynolds spent most of the day at the school, speaking at three separate sessions and signing books in the Library Media Center. His visit was organized by the school’s Library Media Specialists Silvia Lilly and Justine Nigro. Support for Reynolds’ visit came from the BCMS PTO, proceeds from the Scholastic Book Fair, and a grant from Stewart’s Shops.

“I want to tell stories that help students understand that they are not alone,” said Reynolds. “It is important to let them know that we all experience fears, questions, and struggles. Some of the people we revere the most only found success after experiencing a great deal of failure.” 

In the book Fantastic Failures, Reynolds profiles well-known people and the struggles they faced on the path to success. During his presentation, he highlighted a few of those he profiles in his book including:

  • JK Rowling, the best-selling author whose first Harry Potter manuscript was rejected 12 times before being published.
  • Christopher Reeve, the late actor whose greatest legacy is the impact he has made on spinal cord research after his own spinal cord injury.
  • Charles Dutton, a Yale-trained actor who found his calling while in prison in solitary confinement.

Reynolds, a former middle school teacher who is now a professor of education at Endicott College in Massachusetts, said he would often find young students were stressed out by their desire to avoid failure at all cost.

“I want them to realize that this fear may, in fact, be holding them back,” said Reynolds. “Hearing stories of failure or struggle and how people overcame that failure is something that we can all relate to.”

Learn more about author Luke Reynolds here.

To discover other events happening at the middle school Library Media Center — including the ongoing 2019 Reading Challenge — check out their webpage:

BCMS Library Media Center