Closed pools, closed libraries, and closed schools. Even before the pandemic, kids in Philadelphia have known the sting of missing out on the things they love. Now more than ever, our city’s kids need safe spaces where they can connect with peers and pursue their passions. This year, ASAP has organized more than 250 after school and summer programs to do just that. But we have more work to do. Will you help us give children in Philadelphia the opportunities, like drama, they deserve after school?
After School Drama and the Pandemic
Thankfully, for the students in the ASAP Drama Club at Martha Washington Elementary in West Philly, even when their school was closed, Miss Hope and Miss Kate have been there to keep their imaginations open for business, both after school and in the summer.
ASAP Drama Impact
For the past four years, ASAP Drama Club Leader Hope McDowell and ASAP Teaching Artist Kate have been inspiring students in the ACE Program after school at Martha Washington to think of their own experiences and ideas as worthy of the stage.
Hope recalls a young girl who was self-conscious about her speech impediment and shied away from drama club. After sending her home with a script and some lines to memorize, her mom noticed an immediate difference.
Similarly, Hope believes drama has helped her grow, too. Watching artists like Kate embrace her students’ zany antics, Hope has recognized how meaningful freedom of expression is for the children she teaches.
Overall, for Kate, it’s the trust that Hope has built with her students that is key to their club’s success.
Access to Arts Education
In addition, Kate’s praise for Hope speaks to the precarious nature of arts education and the important role organizations like ASAP play in ensuring students from underserved communities have the same opportunities as their more affluent peers.
Across the nation, African-American and Latinx students today have 40% fewer arts education experiences than they did in the 1980s.
Because as Hope and Kate have witnessed time and time again, the arts can be the key to unlocking their full potential.
Thinking back to the shy little girl with the speech impediment, Hope smiles:
Through the generosity of people like you, ASAP will continue to work alongside dedicated, creative, and caring educators like Hope and Kate to give students throughout Philadelphia the chance to be free, to explore, to find their own voice.
Finally, in this important work, we are most grateful for your support.
P.S. Did you know a child who has continued access to arts education is 74% more likely to plan to attend college? Your support will help broaden horizons for kids throughout Philadelphia.