A dance story that comes alive

At 7 p.m. on Nov. 24, WHYY-TV will air I AM, a documentary that chronicles a collaborative dance project between students from St. Katherine’s Special Education Day School at Archbishop John Carroll High School, in Radnor Township, and dancers from the Second Company of the Pennsylvania Ballet.

The 40-minute film follows the performers over the course of 10 weeks, as they rehearse for the live performance, and ends on performance night, which took place in 2017.

The project was the brainchild of Art-Reach, a nonprofit that works to create access to arts opportunities for people with disabilities and for those who come from low-income communities.

A shorter film was originally planned, said Glenn Holsten, director of I AM, but such “beautiful interaction” was occurring between the students and dancers that the decision was made to do a longer piece.

Winter coats drive away the cold

More than 170 local auto dealers and small businesses in the Philadelphia region have donated more than 52,000 new winter coats to children. They’re taking part in the 12th annual “Driving Away the Cold” program, held by the Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation.

The coats are distributed by about 220 social service agencies, school districts, churches, shelters, local YMCA branches, and other groups.

“This simple gift relieves a financial burden for parents or caregivers and supercharges the child’s self-esteem,” said David Kelleher of David Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and president of the foundation.

Since 2008, the group has donated about $5.7 million worth of winter coats — which equates to nearly 420,000 jackets — to needy kids.

A tradition of giving

Students at St. Joseph’s Prep are in it to win it.

The teens joined six other East Coast Jesuit schools for the Great Ignatian Challenge, an annual Thanksgiving food drive. The name comes from Ignatius of Loyola, the 16th-century saint and founder of the Jesuits.

In addition to the Prep, students at Fairfield Prep in Connecticut; Loyola School, Regis High School, Fordham Prep, and Xavier High School in New York; and St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City were working to gather food between Nov. 4 to 26 to donate to local food banks and pantries.

In the four years the friendly competition has been held, the seven schools have collected 150 tons of food, enough to feed about 74,000 people.

The food collected by the boys of St. Joe’s Prep will provide a Thanksgiving meal and more to about 400 people in North Philadelphia.