Students at the W.B. Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences on the northwest edge of Philadelphia are introduced to farming, food science, and now, dance.
ArtistYear AmeriCorps member Coralie-Michele Francois is combining a love of dance and science at Saul. She's one of 12 teacher-artists serving in the Philadelphia schools this year. WRTI’s Meridee Duddleston went to the school to watch her in action.
Many educators and concerned citizens see the arts as a necessity, not a luxury. The Philadelphia-based nonprofit ArtistYear was formed to fill a gap in arts education, felt most deeply in economically disadvantaged communities. It enables young musicians, writers, filmmakers, fine artists and many other creative young people to spend a year sharing their talents with those most in need.
This past summer, ArtistYear received a grant from the national service program AmeriCorps to expand beyond Philadelphia, and to provide teacher-artists to underserved schools, often lacking a music or art teacher.
Coralie-Michele Francois graduated from Cheltenham High School. She was awarded a dance scholarship and went on to graduate from Drexel University in 2017.