How We Began
Following Francis, founded in 2011 as Francis in the Schools, began as a free educational field trip program for school-aged children living in areas impacted by unemployment, poverty, deportation, drugs and crime. We wanted to create inspirational programs and activities for children facing the challenges of ethnic and social blending and a below-average standard of living.
Following Francis is an educational, not a religious organization. We celebrate Francis of Assisi as a famous historic figure known around the world for his humanity. People of all ages resonate with his universal message of compassion and respect. As our programs are seated in service, his name is the unifying theme for each of them.
The Program Takes Wing
The first Francis in the Schools program began in San Francisco and consisted of a musical play, titled Following Francis, and a festive, outdoor Umbrian “Faire” with fun, educational games and activities. People from local communities began volunteering and donating ever more generously. They recognized that we are all responsible for the growth , education and well-being of our country’s children.In just two years, nearly a dozen more Francis in the Schools events were offered, each serving between 200 to 1,200 children.