Jason Reynolds Visits TCHS

Jason Reynolds Visits TCHS!
Posted on 02/23/2024
Jason ReynoldsDuring the 2022-23 school year, students in Mrs. Borota’s ELA class dove into "Long Way Down" by the #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jason Reynolds. The protagonist, Will, resonated with students as they immersed themselves in fictional situations they could relate to. Students found themselves captivated by Reynolds' speeches and online interviews, which left them feeling truly inspired. Later students were tasked with writing a persuasive letter to Reynolds as a part of their final exam, to convince him to make a speech at their graduation ceremony.

Jason Reynolds

Mrs. Borota was "blown away by the connections made and how deep many of their letters were" and reached out to his publishing company to ensure he would receive the letters. Students took the project a step further and went around the school filming a video, inviting him so he could put faces to the letters. Reynolds saw the video on the TCHS Tornado Watch Instagram page and responded, saying he wanted to take them up on their offer to visit. 


Though unable to speak at graduation, Reynolds was invited to the TCHS auditorium for a sit-down conversation with students on Feb. 1 as a part of Black History Month. TCHS seniors Jordy Paez and Dawinie Registre and Mrs. Borota had a deep conversation with the author, discussing his upbringing, which resonated with students—also, asking questions about his many books. 

Instagram Post

"Everybody in here has the capability of doing terrible things and also the capability to do extraordinary things. And we get to make those choices every day if the adults in the room ensure we are presented with those options and those opportunities. And loving these babies through their pain, and the anger, and the rage that they feel because their neighborhoods are war zones," stated Reynolds.

After the interview, there was a short Q&A and a book signing where Reynolds interacted with students. A live stream of the sit-down was produced by the school of communications on the Trenton Central High School YouTube channel for students who were unable to attend.

Students wait to meet with Jason Reynolds

Photos taken and story written by Student Communication Intern Jessica Nazario