So proud of this work with Sunrise of Philadelphia. Thank you Grace Maiorano for covering this for the South Philly Review.
“Our Stories, while it’s about learning about art and literacy, the literacy aspect is also about learning about how to speak to your neighbor, really,” said Aja Beech, the arts integrated literacy coordinator for Sunrise of Philadelphia for the Fleisher partnership. “And I think, in these times, so many things are strained, especially within populations of people who have immigrated here.”
Through a partnership with Sunrise of Philadelphia and Fleisher Art Memorial, students of all ages from across South Philly celebrated Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, at the historic art institution. The various activities, which weaved together Mexican literacy and arts, explored more than one layer of the loss of a loved one. (GRACE MAIORANO/South Philly Review)
Sunrise of Philadelphia, which was founded almost 20 years ago when the city was experiencing a dearth of after-school and summer services for students in kindergarten to 12th grade, maintains educational, artistic, athletic, career-ready and several other programs in six South Philly public schools.
Some of the schools, Beech says, are home to students who speak up to 17 different languages. Considering the influx of Asian, Hispanic and other immigrant populations in South Philly, Sunrise of Philadelphia has nurtured a new approach toward its mission surrounding family engagement.
“When you think about it,” Beech said. “When you have seven different languages in a classroom of 20 kids, there are some parents that just want to communicate to each other and kind of can’t, so that’s what we’re trying to do, too, here.”