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The Voice of the Black Community


Students put their lessons to lyrics
Hip Hop University mentors to Common Core
Published Wednesday, July 9, 2014 12:31 pm
by Kierra Nichols, For The Charlotte Post

A summer program is using an upbeat approach for students to grasp core concepts in Math and English.

Hip Hop University opened this week at Philip O. Berry Academy of Technology for grades 8-12. The organization’s goal is to mentor and teach Common Core standards by using positive hip-hop culture while motivating students to elevate their learning abilities within a caring and relaxing atmosphere.

Hip Hop University instructor Reginald LaRoche makes a point during a teaching session at Philip O. Berry Academy on Tuesday. The academy uses hip hop to teach Common Core in math and English as well as mentoring.

The academy has used information from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and the Bureau of Justice Statistics to determine that school dropout and imprisonment are two issues they wish to tackle. It reports that 68 percent of fourth-graders scored below standard in reading, and that juveniles were involved in a great deal of crimes committed, including 1 in 5 arrests for robbery, burglary and larceny-theft.

The academy’s founders expect 30-40 students this year with opportunity to expand and reach out to students all over North Carolina.

HHU’s founders are teachers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Albert Carter, a teacher at Marie G. Davis Military and Leadership Academy, and Reginald LaRoche, who teaches at Garinger High, believe the program can make a positive influence on the community.

“We are using the culture of hip-hop to teach students what they need to know to be successful in the classroom,” Carter said.

A typical day at HHU includes a discussion of current events, math and English lessons incorporated into hip-hop, and lectures from various artists. Breakfast and lunch are also provided.

The university is comprised of four parts: Youth leadership, civic engagement, mentoring, and youth development. Each component helps students to exercise authority, learn the importance of citizenship, empathize and relate with other students, and find a hopeful future marked by positive contributions.

“For students who are interested in the Hip Hop culture, we want to show them that with music you listen to and the lifestyle you live, you can take that and use it to be successful in the classroom,” LaRoche said. “Let’s reverse the situation.”

Hip Hop University runs through Aug. 8. For information, go to www.hiphopuniversity.net.


This is an invigorating way of motivating our youth to "buy in" to the common core. Job well done gentlemen!!!
Posted on July 21, 2014
I believe this program can reach many youths on their level and create an atmosphere for true learning (motivation). This is a great article.
Posted on July 10, 2014

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