Esquith’s lecture will begin at 7 p.m. at Van Meter Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase, and a book signing will be held after the presentation.
Esquith is a recipient of the National Teacher of the Year Award and is the only teacher to be awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts.
A once-in-a-lifetime educator, Esquith has been called “a modern day Thoreau” by Newsday, “a genius and a saint” by The New York Times, and “the most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country” by The Washington Post.
For the past two decades, Esquith has taught fifth-graders at a public school in a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs and violence. His exceptional classroom at Hobart Elementary – known simply as Room 56 – is unlike any other in the country.
Esquith’s students are mostly immigrants or children of immigrants, living in poverty, and learning English as a second language. Yet, under his tutelage, they voluntarily come to class at 6:30 in the morning and often stay until 5 in the afternoon. They learn math, reading and science. But they also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, often score in the top 1 percent on standardized tests, and go on to attend the best universities. He and his students were featured in the PBS documentary, The Hobart Shakespeareans.
Contact: Cathie Bryant, (270) 745-4664.