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Stories for Grownups returns to Sanibel Library

January 4, 2017
By ASHLEY GOODMAN ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Sidney Simon said that his itch for telling stories originated in the classroom.

"I knew nothing would grab the students more than a good story," Simon said.

Simon, who has been orchestrating Stories for Grownups at the Sanibel Public Library since 2002, will tell tales Friday, Jan. 6, from 2-3 p.m., in the community room based on the following five categories: parenting and grandkids, growing old in Florida, teachers who were really teachers, relationships with people and things that are unique to Sanibel.

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Sid Simon, who has been orchestrating Stories for Grownups at the Sanibel Public Library since 2002, will tell tales Friday, Jan. 13 from 2 to 3 p.m. in the community room.


Simon took storytime over from Maggie and Steve Mullins, who originally started the program.

Simon will tell stories for a half hour then for the last half hour, he will have the audience share their own stories.

"It makes it lively," he said.

Simon, professor emeritus from the University of Massachusetts, was a psychology teacher from 1950 until his retirement. He has published 12 books that primarily focus on getting what you want out of life. He has sold 600,000 copies of his book, "Values Clarification," which he co-wrote with Howard Kirschenbaum and Leland W. Howe.

He has also been a guest speaker on Oprah and the Phil Donahue Show. In addition, Simon has been a keynote speaker in 30 different states at conferences that focus on psychology, alcohol and drug addiction, counseling, education, family values and self esteem.

Simon initially became interested in psychology after he found that none of his teachers in high school stimulated him. His goal was not to be a conventional teacher. Simon often put his students in small groups and there was absolutely no copying off the chalkboard.

"I knew school had to be different. I knew it had to deal with self esteem, woundedness and people who have been abused. Slowly and surely, that was very much a deep part of my education," he said.

Stories for Grownups stems from tales of his own personal life. Like his classroom, his goal is for the audience to immerse themselves and be actively involved. At the end of his program, he hopes that those who attend take away a deeper appreciation for their children.

"I hope that people validate their children more and cherish the good teachers and to teach your children how to gently raise their children. That's the contribution that my stories make. To celebrate teachers, to celebrate children and to realize how lucky you are to live on this island," Simon said.

His next and last Storytime for Grownups for the season will be March 3 at the Sanibel Public Library. Those with questions can call the library at (239) 472-2483.



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