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VIRTUAL: Stephen Haff / Kid Quixotes
June 15 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm PDT
Booksmith and The Bindery host Stephen Haff for his new book, Kid Quixotes: A Group of Students, Their Teacher, and the One-Room School Where Everything Is Possible. Please join us!
This will be a virtual event, which we will be streaming live on our Facebook page.
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The unlikely yet inspiring true story of a teacher struggling with mental illness, a silent daughter of an undocumented mother, and the amazing one-room schoolhouse that helped them find their voices, heal their pain, and become empowering models of resilience.
After seven years at a high school with metal detectors and armed police, Yale-educated teacher Stephen Haff suffered a breakdown. Doctors later diagnosed him with bi-polar depression. Inspired by his former students, Haff formed a reading group that eventually became Still Waters in A Storm, an after-school program in Bushwick, Brooklyn. techniques from outside standard educational practices—Drawing from his experiences, Haff developed a new teaching method using AA meetings, Quaker prayers, psychotherapy, and even Buddhist meditation circles to create a more empathetic and collaborative environment. In this fluid, welcoming space, Stephen and his students found solace and something else: their voices. All agreed that at Still Waters there would only be one rule: everyone listens to everyone. And this one rule has unlocked their incredible potential.
Over the years, Still Waters’ students have studied Latin, played violin and now they have taken on a new challenge: translating episodes from the classic Don Quixote into English from Spanish. With the help of dictionaries and the approval of acclaimed Don Quixote translator, Edith Grossman, the Still Waters students created a modern travelling musical, The Traveling Adventures of Kid Quixote, which has been performed across New York City.
The star of Kid Quixote is six-year-old Sarah Sierra. Before Still Waters, Sarah was silent. But now she has many stories to tell, from her mother’s journey across the desert to America on a tiger to a girl-knight that defeats giants made of ice who lock up children. At Still Waters, these students, led by Sarah, have found their voices and are using them to deliver a message of diversity, tolerance, love, optimism, and resilience essential to us all.