NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Two Young Audiences Charter School (YACS) 7th Grade students are headed to the Big Apple as Outstanding Performance Winners of a Hamilton Hip-Hop Competition. YACS students Destanie Bergeron and Makyla Treaudo competed in a one-week Hamilton Education course using Hip-Hop to tell the story of the Founding Era.
The contest was to create and perform a two-minute rap citing primary sources and maintaining historical integrity. Their rap was entered as a video submission. The two young women went above and beyond with their informational rap, battling the wits and skills of the 162 students who participated in the program at YACS. The young ladies then represented YACS in a national competition with middle school and high school students across the country through Hamilton Education, a program run by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.
Destanie and Makyla were chosen as Outstanding Performance Winners and the Gilder Lehrman Institute invited the girls and chaperones to attend a Hamilton Education Program full-day theater experience, including a matinee performance of Hamilton in New York City. The girls will perform on the Hamilton stage, meet the cast, and visit The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History with over 70,000 primary documents of 500 years of American History.
“We are so proud of Destanie and Makyla for their passion for History and creating this amazing historical rap,” said Brandon House, YACS School Leader. “Integrating the arts with learning is central to what we do at YACS and these ladies exemplify both intelligence and artistic talent.”
Destanie and Makyla will be attending the Hamilton performance in April.
This unit was taught by Teaching Artist Renee Benson, who was selected to pilot the educational program in the Fall of 2019. With the support and historical knowledge of the two 7th grade history teachers, seven classrooms were given the opportunity to connect their passion for music to writing informative historical text. Kari Van Buren, YACS history teacher, worked closely with Ms. Benson for nearly a month to plan the logistics on how the program could reach the entire 7th grade instead of a select few. “All of our students deserve to love history the way they love Hip-Hop and other popular genres of music,” says Renee. “This program helps them comprehend, demonstrate and explore academically the connection between the two.”
At Young Audiences Charter School, the arts-integration curriculum reflects recent research from the arts education field that provides significant evidence of the value of the arts in the learning process. Arts Integration combines the arts with the learning of core academic subjects. It supports educational achievement and improved student behavior by giving children both a “springboard” and a “safety net” for learning. The arts allow students to be more engaged in education-focusing on each child’s abilities and interests to provide support in academic achievement.
For more information on The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, go to: gilderlehrman.org
For more information on Young Audiences Charter School, go to: www.yacharterschool.org