Hip-Hop News: Hip Hop Education Program Debuts In LA Schools
National education crisis motivates schools to look at nontraditional program to help close achievement gap.
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Posted by Dave
Rap News Network
3/31/2008 7:54:47 AM

A unique educational Hip Hop program offered at a public school in Los Angeles is now preparing to expand to other schools and colleges. The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture Program, now in its second year, is currently taught by its creator, Sebastien Elkouby, and is one of the only full time educational Hip Hop programs in the country being offered as an elective to 7th and 8th grade students.

Elkouby, founder of the Urban Youth Empowerment Foundation, an organization which uses Hip Hop culture as a tool for youth empowerment, created this program to address the educational crisis that affects approximately 50% of inner-city students throughout many major urban centers across the nation.

"For a variety of reasons, many students feel disconnected from the traditional educational process and ultimately give up. This program helps students develop a sense of global awareness and critical thinking skills by using Hip Hop culture and Rap music to analyze pop culture, current events, and social issues, while simultaneously teaching language arts, history, social studies, cultural diversity, and geography," said Elkouby. "Using Hip Hop as a medium to reach students makes sense considering they have such a strong connection to it."

With the growing success of the program, various high schools and colleges have now voiced their interest in offering this course to their students. Elkouby adds, "This is an exciting time as educators are increasingly aware of the urgent need for innovative, culturally relevant instructional models that can motivate students to improve their grades and value their education. Thus, our program has now been restructured to also meet the needs of high school and college students. We are looking forward to working with new schools this year and beyond."

The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture Program is currently in session while working toward expanding its reach to other schools for the 2008-2009 school year.

About the Global Awareness through Hip Hop Culture Program

The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Program is the flagship component of the Urban Youth Empowerment Foundation, a Los Angeles organization founded by Sebastien Elkouby. Since 2001, this organization has used innovative methods to reach at-risk youth. Through a variety of workshops ranging in themes from job training to teen parenting, the Foundation has always used Hip Hop culture as a medium to reach its audience. The Global Awareness through Hip Hop Program was created to address the high dropout rates in L.A. schools and was implemented at its first school on a full time basis in 2006. This program capitalizes on Hip Hop's generational relevance to help students become socially aware while complementing core subjects such as English and history. For more information, visit http://www.thefoundationonline.net/.

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