Young Audiences Hip Hop poet Bomani recently visited Empowerment Academy Elementary/Middle for an assembly and workshop to teach students the elements of writing Hip Hop music and its parallels to poetry- and essay-writing while also addressing the subject of anti-bullying. Following the assembly, Open Mic, students worked with Bomani to use the techniques demonstrated in his performance to write their own Hip Hop poem about how to handle bullying inside and outside of school. One teacher shared: “Students were pleasantly surprised at their ability to write poetry, and became more adamant about stopping bullying.”
The assembly and workshop were made possible through the Young Audiences Access for All Initiative which makes Young Audiences artists and programs available to high-need Baltimore City Public Schools at up to 80 percent off of the cost. This opportunity helps principals with limited resources provide hands-on learning in the arts that supplements and enriches the curriculum.
The following day, three students volunteered to share their finished poem with the student body over the school intercom. Read the full poem below!
When there is bullying, don’t just be a bystander,
Better not mess with a Marylander!
Find an adult who is trustworthy,
So the bully will not continue to hurt me!
There is verbal, physical, cyber, and exclusion,
Don’t do any of these. Use inclusion!
Bullies cause a lot of confusion,
Everyone must help to find a solution!
This is just one example of how Young Audiences artists connect fine arts, the curriculum, and important 21st Century skills to impact how students see themselves and relate to others.