Al-Bustan is honored to be a recipient of a three-year arts education grant from the William Penn Foundation. The grant supports establishing an extended Arab arts program after-school at John Moffet Elementary School. A Philadelphia public school located in West Kensington neighborhood, Moffet has an ethnically diverse population that includes students of Arab heritage.
The Board of Directors and staff of Al-Bustan are thrilled by the support of William Penn Foundation. Executive Director Hazami Sayed explains, “We’ve had a long-standing partnership with Moffet School, since 2007. Our one day a week after-school offering can now expand to include three days, three hours each day, and serve more students. We want the students to acquire foundational artistic skills and cross-cultural knowledge and appreciation that can further their community engagement and academic pursuits in secondary school and beyond.”
The program will serve fifty students in music – Arabic choir and solfege/ear training will be taught by Hanna Khoury and percussion will be taught by Hafez Kotain. Twenty-five students will be in the art program taught by Tremain Smith and will have an hour each day of homework help or mentoring in Arabic language and cultural activities. Integral to the program is development of their skills in self-discipline, commitment, and teamwork.
Moffet School Principal Carmen Navarro was enthusiastic upon hearing the good news. “We’re eager to see the after-school program expand so that students have an opportunity to broaden their cultural and artistic growth,” she remarked. “This will offer our students in-depth arts education that is proven to enhance academic performance. We are committed to making this program a success and further enriching the lives of our students and families.”
We are grateful to the William Penn Foundation for making this possible, and very excited to be working with the Moffet School community! You can help support this program too by donating to the Al-Bustan Education Fund!
The William Penn Foundation, founded in 1945 by Otto and Phoebe Haas, works to close the achievement gap for low-income children, ensure a sustainable environment, foster creativity that enhances civic life, and advance philanthropy in the Philadelphia region. With assets of nearly $2 billion, the Foundation distributes approximately $80 million in grants annually. Learn more about the Foundation at www.williampennfoundation.org.