students with mr. sydney

Author and therapist, Ronnie Sidney, II, visited Ms. Sarabeth Vernon’s 7th & 8th grade Language Arts classes on November 22, 2019 to speak to students about resiliency.  As part of the classes Project Based Learning (PBL) task for this semester, Ms. Vernon’s classes have been studying poetry, non-fiction, and fictional texts with the same theme, resilient characters.  The students have been analyzing the types of resilient avenues that people have taken and the means to solutions that they have endured. In turn, they will create their own life narrative about a time they were resilient and how they addressed it. Ms. Vernon stated, “It has been such an awesome experience to watch my students grow. They have really clung to the concept of resiliency, and they have done a great job at investigating this topic and growing in their knowledge.  I am really proud of them, and I am really thankful for the experience to have Mr. Sidney come here.”

As part of this research, Mr. Sidney was invited to come and address the classes.  He is the author of a series of young person’s paperbacks dealing with issues that young people experience; facing rejection, bullying; foster living; and coming to terms with handicaps and perceptions.  His colorful books inspire youth with their messages of hope and understanding. By utilizing a comic book look, students can quickly read and identify the protagonist and resolutions of each problem.

Mr. Sidney is from Tappahannock, Virginia and a graduate of Essex High School.  While attending school, he was placed in Special Education after being diagnosed with a learning disability, which created a lack of interest in school. Mr. Sidney told the MMS students about his struggles in school and the importance of having a teacher help him out.  He had a teacher in the sixth grade, Mrs. Tobey, who never “got on his case because he was late.”  She asked him why the tardiness and he told her he was a Ninja!  His first book, “Nelson Beats the Odds,” highlights this moment.  Mrs. Tobey, who is now a Reading Specialist at MMS, said of Mr. Sidney’s visit,” All I can say is that he was a joy to work with as a student. And now, my student has become my teacher. He constantly amazes me and makes me so very proud!”

For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 12/4/19

Ronnie Sidney, II visited Montross Middle School’s 7th and 8th grade Language Arts classes.