Community Building



Here are some things to think about:

What struggles are important to your community?

Why are these struggles important?

What are some origin narratives around these struggles?

How can you get involved or make a difference?


How FACTS Got Started


The Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School (FACTS) celebrated its grand opening ceremony at its new building at 1023 Callowhill Street in the fall of 2006. The building represents one of the first investments of public dollars into the 140-year-old Chinatown community.

After years of dreaming, planning, and organizing, AAU in partnership with the Philadelphia Folklore Project won a charter for FACTS on March 9, 2005. The school opened in September 2005 and realizes an alternative vision of education rooted in community and folk arts as vehicles for academic learning and social change. With a multiracial student body and innovative academic programs such as Singapore Math, the school provides a nurturing, culturally rich learning environment for diverse children and families.

AAU has worked for more than two decades in the Philadelphia public schools to fight for quality education opportunities for Asian American and immigrant students and families. The charter school came out of the desire of many of our constituents for a school that that would respond to the needs of immigrant children and would serve as a public resource to the Chinatown community.

FACTS was won with the support of over a thousand petitioners, dozens of organizations that wrote letters of support, and hundreds of people who attended public hearings. Those who mobilized in support of the school included Fujianese leaders and Chinatown community organizations, allies from our multiracial/multiethnic South Philadelphia work, alumni from AAU’s youth programs, veterans of AAU’s Chinatown Parents’ Association, folk artists, and citywide allies.

As the school continues to grow, we look forward to helping support and build an institution which functions as a place of learning and growth and of building community not only for FACT children and families but also the broader communities in which we work.


Founders’ Day

Celebrating the founding of the Folk Arts–Cultural Treasures Charter School is a yearly ritual at our school. By telling and retelling the story of our founding, we get to talk with kids about how it can take years of struggle and lots of people working together to realize our dreams for our community.

Download a copy of the FACTS Founders’ Day document that outlines the ideas around the founding of FACTS for grades 3 to 5 classes and for Kindergarten to grade 2 classes. As well, it includes the thoughts of some of the founders. Read a sample lesson plan from the document.

Thoughts from FACTS Founders

Read thoughts from one of FACTS’ founders, Alex Wong, and download a copy of the FACTS Founders’ Day document to read more, including thought from Debbie Wei, Alex Wong, Betty Lui, Hao-Li Tai Loh, Helen Gym and Debora Kodish.