Swarthmore, PA – .Maurice Gray Eldridge is the Vice Chair for the Chester Fund for Education and the Arts and former principal of the prestigious Duke Ellington School for the Arts. Over a career spanning five decades, Eldridge has empowered students through a strong focus on the arts at the center of a liberal arts education.
“I happen to believe all kids, whatever they want to be when they grow up, will benefit from having the arts in their lives,” says Eldridge. “The arts are integrated into the curriculum of the school, which helps students learn to think creatively, work collaboratively, so they can begin to feel a part of a family, a community. We’re building a community inside a school.”
Eldridge grew up in Washington DC in an era when the city like the rest of the country was segregated. When the Supreme Court issued its desegregation order for the nation in 1954, Eldridge was heading into the tenth grade.
Eldridge in that same year was recruited into a progressive, integrated, and coed boarding school in New England, where he emgerged as a leader through his genuine commitment to the role the arts, theater, poetry, and literature can play in education. In 1979, Eldridge was named principal of the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, where he served for 10 years.
In 2005, Eldridge was instrumental in establishing the Chester Charter School for the Arts in Chester, Pennsylvania, a K-12 arts school.
For more information on Chester Charter School of the Arts, visit www.ccschoolarts.org
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