National recording artists, Bun B and 2 Chainz will serve Houston and Atlanta schools, respectively.
ABOVE: Fleming Middle School Principal Yolanda Bruce, RWAR Co-Founders Douglas Johnson and Jarren Small, Kids Foot Locker Community Marketing Manager Ashley Turner, HISD Assistant Superintendent Yolanda Rodríguez and HISD Chief of Staff Silvia Saenz Trinh particpate in ribbon cutting at Fleming Middle School (Photo by Crystal Yancy of Lyte-Media Production)
Houston-based literacy program, Reading With A Rapper (RWAR) is gearing up for an amazing 2021-22 school year featuring a unique partnership with Kids Foot Locker (KFL)!
Together, RWAR and KFL will bring “Culture To The Classroom”by inserting the RWAR program into underserved schools in the Houston and Atlanta areas. KFL will contribute to a RWAR redesign of one classroom per school starting October 2021. Each redesigned classroom will be RWAR themed to provide an exclusive experience for the students involved in the program.
Each school will strategically place students that could benefit from the RWAR program. Most students impacted from the program need an alternative way to learn. Created by certified English Language Arts curriculum writers, RWAR takes relatable elements such as music and their favorite recording artists to assist in helping students learn. In addition to the alternative learning environment, students will also be able to interface with the artists they’ve been listening to and learning from with exclusive visits from the artists. With the upcoming RWAR and KFL classrooms, the artist visits and overall experience will be upgraded.
“Having RWAR inspired classrooms brings us one step closer to our goals,” says RWAR Co-Founder Douglas Johnson. “We are striving to break boundaries in education by bringing relatable content to our students and communities, essentially meeting them where they are.”
Co-Founder Jarren Small added, “Music culture and lyrics are powerful tools when used in an innovative way. With the help of Kids Foot Locker, we’ve discovered a way to create lasting impressions while making education fun and exciting.”
“This back-to-school season, Kids Foot Locker is thrilled to partner with RWAR to bring essential supplies and more impactful classrooms to students in need,” says Jill Feldman, Kids Foot Locker Vice President, General Manager. “Foot Locker’s DNA has long blended sneaker, music, sports, and street culture for youth, and there’s no better partner to continue these efforts with an emphasis on educating the next generation than with RWAR.”
As part of the partnership with KFL, musician and Houston native Bun B teamed up with RWAR as the featured artist being studied by students at local Houston schools this fall. Bun B has been an ongoing advocate for RWAR, previously partnering with the organization earlier this year to host “The RWAR House”, an interactive museum exhibit featuring a music meditation room, interactive classroom, plus a lounge space for children to decompress. RWAR and KFL recently gave a first look at Bun B’s involvement in a teaser that features Bun B as a fictional school principal for the forthcoming program placement.
Atlanta’s own, 2 Chainz will be the featured artist for College Park Elementary, the neighborhood in which the superstar was raised. Along with his ear for music, 2 Chainz is also a supporter of the arts. In 2017, he contributed to the Pink Trap House installation, which is now a staple in the city of Atlanta.
RWAR and KFL will also host celebration events in Houston and Atlanta this fall. Each celebration event in Houston and Atlanta will allow students to read their work in front of Bun B and 2 Chainz, respectively, followed by interactive Q&As speaking more in-depth to their favorite books, the music that was studied, and more.
RWAR and KFL formally kicked off their partnership with a ribbon cutting event on Monday, September 27th at Fleming Middle School, unveiling the newly redesigned classroom. The ceremony was well attended by KFL Community Marketing Manager Ashley Turner, executives from the Jordan brand, Beats by Dre and city of Houston community leaders.
Attendees were invited into the redesigned classroom space that was painted in RWAR’s signature yellow and black colors and participated in a condensed version of the program. Participants sat at the themed desks and were given Beats by Dre wireless headphones to study artist and Hydrate Hill alkaline water CEO, AJ McQueen’s smash hit, “Elderberry.” After participants dissected the lyrics by pointing out the figurative language examples, McQueen surprised the “class” with a formal introduction and explanation of the song.
Follow @readingwarapper on social media or its’ website www.readingwitharapper.com for more information.
ABOUT READING WITH A RAPPER
RWAR was created in 2018 to relate English Language Arts (ELA) metrics and academics with socially conscious lyrics from known national recording artists, video content and technology. Through this platform RWAR relates and uplifts youth socially and academically to instill the skills necessary to thrive in Secondary and Collegiate Level courses. Since RWAR’s inception, RWAR has toured the City of Houston, with a series of demonstrations and events, touching over 30,000 students and educators of all ages and backgrounds.