U School students mentor younger peers and encourage artistic expression. The program grew out of the Aspen Challenge.
They also can foster connections with community members, from neighbors to experts.
Organizers said people in 100 schools participated. Students said the activities were affirming. The District barred coverage of in-school events.
Part of the reason is state policy. But several schools have adopted the dual-language immersion model.
Half the student body have been English learners at some point in their education.
They traveled to the United States alone, some fleeing war and violence. Then the only agency in Philadelphia authorized to help them shut down suddenly.
The aim is to help parents and teachers find books that students will want to read.