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The School's a Stage

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On Friday, September 9, at 9:30 pm, KCET will air the documentary "The Hobart Shakespeareans," about a group of fifth-grade students in Koreatown who study and perform Shakespeare plays.

It's always interesting to see local neighborhoods on television, and teacher Rafe Esquith's idea seems a good one. (It's not the only local Shakespeare program for young people - The Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival has a Will Power to Youth program). In our own experience in urban public schools, we found that lessons that gave us something to do other than just listening passively, such as reading plays aloud, or projects that allowed students to work together in groups to create things, were the educational experiences whose lessons we remember and use most today. Given the current state of the Los Angeles school system, and the new mayor's stated commitment to improving the schools, programs that talk about how to inspire students and different educational methods are timely.