On Tuesday, October 10th there was a special event for all 8th grade students during periods 1 and 2. Basketball player and motivational speaker, Jack Ryan, came to Halsey to speak to the students about how sports helped him overcome obstacles in his life and achieve success. This connects to the mentor text for 8th grade’s first unit in ELA. The students are reading The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, which is a coming-of-age story written in verse. It centers on two twin brothers who are obsessed with basketball. Their father was a professional basketball player, and the twins face a variety of challenges as they try to find their own place in the sport and in life.