As spending on education is cut from the President's desk on down, it's refreshing to see an institution, especially one as revered as PAFA [the oldest art school and museum in the U.S.] take in children and teach them art and let them express themselves through art.
The Cooperative Studio Program was designed to give them a chance to nurture their skills even as their schools cut back on arts education.
"This is a way for us to reach out to the community and really try to do something beneficial," said Al Gury, associate professor and chairman of the academy's painting department.
The program accepts 80 students each year from public, parochial and charter schools. It has taken some from outside Philadelphia but now wants to focus on the city, Gury said.
He wants more city schools to start recommending students.
Giving kids two hours after school to dive into something they love is an incredible and priceless gift. I cannot imagine how I would've turned out if I didn't grow up where I did and had access to wonderful after school programs in art and science and as I got older, a community which encouraged athletics and had the money to keep the fields in good working order.