Visitation planned for Jaime Escalante at Garfield High

Jaime Escalante is seen here teaching math at Garfield High School, in California, March 16, 1988. Escalante is the teacher on which the character in the movie "Stand and Deliver" is based. (AP Photo)
Jaime Escalante is seen here teaching math at Garfield High School, in California, March 16, 1988. Escalante is the teacher on which the character in the movie "Stand and Deliver" is based. (AP Photo) AP Photo

A closed-casket visitation will be held tomorrow at Garfield High School for Jaime Escalante, the former East Los Angeles calculus teacher who inspired the film "Stand and Deliver.''

Escalante died March 30 of cancer at age 79.

The six-hour visitation at the school will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. in Escalante's former classroom, MH1.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Weingart Stadium on the campus of East Los Angeles College. A funeral procession will leave Garfield High School bound for the stadium at 9 a.m.

Born in La Paz, Bolivia, Escalante was credited with turning the East Los Angeles high school into a breeding ground for successful math and science students. Escalante taught at Garfield for 17 years, leading his low-income, inner-city students to success on advanced-placement calculus tests, achieving
a passing rate that led some authorities to accuse the students of cheating.

Escalante's success was immortalized in the film "Stand and Deliver,'' with actor Edward James Olmos portraying the teacher.

Escalante had been in Reno, Nev., receiving treatment for bladder cancer. The day before he died, Olmos drove Escalante from Reno to Roseville, Calif., where Escalante died with his family at his side.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Jaime Escalante Legacy Project. Donation boxes will be available at Garfield High School and East Los Angeles College. Donations can also be made online at www.edwardjamesolmos.com or www.fasenet.org/escalante.html. Donations can also be mailed to 236 W. Mountain Ave. #105, Pasadena, CA, 91103.

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