Arts For Literacy

Arts for Literacy

This program is available to secondary school English classes. Actors and/or spoken word artists will bring the written word to life helping students connect to their studies. The program is tailored to the specific unit of study and educator learning objectives.


  • WPCC Staff Meets with English Teachers to review the program and discuss how it might best fit into each teacher’s curriculum. After signing on to the Arts for Literacy program participating teachers discuss with program staff the piece(s) of literature they would like to include, their schedule, learning objectives, and how an actor(s) and or spoken word artists can best support the intended outcomes for students.


  • Selecting the artists: based on each teacher’s needs, the Program Manager identifies and assigns artists that will come into his/her classrooms. West Park Cultural Center has many networks in the arts communities in Philadelphia.  They are a rich source of educationally-minded, passionate artists who love sharing their craft with students.
  • Meetings/discussions between the teacher and the artists are facilitated by the Program Manager, to address the schedule: how many visits, when they will occur, and what material will be covered in each session. Often teachers have their semester divided into units, covering different topics/skill sets and therefore drawing from different literature.
  • Artists in the Classroom:
    Each Arts for Literacy module usually includes all of the classes on a teacher’s schedule.  For example, all of the teacher’s 10th grade English classes will participate with the artists going into the four different English classes each day of the assignment.

Wrap-up and Feedback

  • At the end of each class, we look for feedback from the students about how they liked it. Sometimes this consists of exit slips created by the teacher, and sometimes it comes when the teacher later assigns a short writing assignment about it.  We also ask the teacher for feedback to help us fine-tune the next session(s).
  • At the end of the unit, we ask the teacher for more extensive feedback about the effectiveness of the artists, and how they made a difference in their classrooms in terms of engagement and actual learning.

Call 215-473-7810 to learn more about Arts for Literacy and how it can be structured for your classes.


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