Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts to graduate its first class of Literary Arts Majors

Featured Image: Senior literary arts majors pose for a picture with department director, Paul Walsh (kneeling front center), on the school’s Roof Study Garden.

BETHLEHEM, PA—-The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts (Charter Arts) will graduate its first class of seniors from the school’s Literary Arts department at its 2018 Commencement Ceremony taking place on June 11, 2018 at Allentown Symphony Hall.

While the school has been open since 2003 and had traditionally offered six majors (dance, theatre, vocal music, instrumental music, figure skating, and visual art), it wasn’t until 2015 that literary arts was added as an artistic major.  The school accepted both freshmen and sophomores for literary arts in 2015, therefore, members of that inaugural group of sophomores (eighteen students) are now ready to graduate as part of the Charter Arts Class of 2018- which also happens to be the largest graduating class in the school’s history with more than 150 graduates.

“This group of seniors has carved out a special place in my heart,” says Paul Walsh, Artistic Director of Literary Arts. “As the first graduating Literary Arts class at Charter Arts, these students have been the trailblazers for the department. They helped to create our culture in the first year, build upon the culture in the second year, and have solidified the culture in their last year in the program. They have ensured that the future of the Literary Arts department will be bright through their unwavering leadership. I can never repay them for their hard work and dedication over these past three years.” .

“The Literary Arts major filled an unmet need in the programming at Charter Arts,” says Charter Arts Executive Director & CEO, Diane LaBelle. ” We have seen these students thrive in an environment that explores, nurtures, and encourages their creative literary expression.  I am overwhelmed by the talent in these young students.”

The literary arts seniors will showcase their work and speak about their high school experience during the department’s Senior Literary Arts Showcase on Thursday, May 17th at 7pm in the school’s Commons Cafe, located at 321 Eats 3rd Street, Bethlehem. This is a free event and is open to the public.


Literary Arts majors at Charter Arts explore the relationship between literature, reading, writing, and performance of the spoken word while honing their craft and producing works in various mediums. The Literary Arts program is a perfect fit for students who would like to strive for future careers as poets, novelists, and playwrights.

Students analyze and write critically and creatively, experimenting with their own creative voices in the construction, production, and performance of original works. This intensive program provides students with a rigorous curriculum rooted in the creative process while reinforcing that reading, writing, and the spoken word are integral parts of the history and development of society.  The curriculum includes courses such as Introduction to Literary Genres, Film Studies, Exploration of the Romantic Style, Journalism & Media Studies, Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature, Exploration of Modernism and Post Modernism, and more. Visit www.CharterArts.org to view the school’s full course catalog.


The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts, opened in 2003, is an audition-based, tuition-free, public charter school that provides a comprehensive curriculum for high school students, grades 9-12, who have a passion for the arts. Students major in one of seven artistic areas: dance, theater, vocal music, instrumental music, literary arts, figure skating or visual art.

Charter Arts’ rigorous curriculum fosters both academic and artistic excellence for its students.  The school’s impressive PA School Performance Profile (SPP) Academic Score, AP and Keystone exam statistics, student SAT scores, prestigious artistic accolades, and graduation rate are a testament to the outstanding education Charter Arts provides.   The school offers a full complement of core courses at the College Preparatory (CP), Honors, and Advanced Placement (AP) levels. The course catalog consists of more than 200 courses ranging from traditional core courses (math, science, social studies, world languages, etc.) to college-level courses in the arts.

The Class of 2017 and the Class of 2018 earned the highest combined proficiency scores on the Keystone Exams of all public and charter schools in the Lehigh Valley. In May 2018, Charter Arts earned a Silver Award for its impressive ranking on the U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools Rankings.  Charter Arts is a Title I High Achievement school, placing it in the top 5 % of all Title I high schools in Pennsylvania.

Close to 600 students from across Pennsylvania travel into Bethlehem daily to attend Charter Arts.  The student body consists of students who hail from towns as far north as the Poconos, as far south as the Philadelphia suburbs, and as far west as Lancaster County.  Many students travel two to three hours per day to attend this innovative school.

For more information about Charter Arts, visit the school’s website at www.CharterArts.org or call 610-868-2971.  Charter Arts is located at 321 East 3rdStreet, Bethlehem PA 18015.


Information & Image Provided To TVL  By:
Ann Gillette
Manager of Public Relations and Media
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts
321 East 3rd Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015