Folk Arts Cultural-Treasures Charter Schools (FACTS)
In September 2005, AAU opened the Folk Arts Cultural-Treasures School (FACTS). Creating this school allowed AAU and our collaborator and co-founder, the Philadelphia Folklore Project, to work on a protracted, intensive, and sustainable basis with children and families.
Creating public space and institutional permanence in the underserved Chinatown neighborhood is a decades-long goal for Asian Americans United. Until the founding of FACTS, the Chinatown neighborhood lacked a public school, recreation center, community center, playground, or park. Today, FACTS provides a culturally competent school setting which honors the cultures of all students in the building and which helps children develop the complex strategies they need to be both multi-cultural and multi-lingual. FACTS seeks to impact the larger public school system by demonstrating what culturally responsive education looks like – one that respects the languages and cultures of Philadelphia’s diverse communities, supports English-language-learner students and families (ELL), and that provides the kind of education that all children deserve
Today, AAU is housed in FACTS and continues to support its folk arts ensemble classes which offer opportunities for FACTS 500 students in grades K – 8 to have access to community-based art forms including Danh Tran (Vietnamese zither), West African drumming, Indonesian dance, stepping, and kung fu/ lion dance and more. By creating opportunities for students to learn from elders and artist that live in their communities, this folk arts programming helps to bridge generations and build respect for diverse cultural traditions. Many FACTS graduates continue work with AAU as high school students through AAU’s youth programming. In turn, AAU alumni have gone on to become teachers, staff and parents at FACTS and other schools.
For more information on the Folk-Arts Cultural-Treasures School please visit the FACTS website.