Hip-Hop Program for Teenagers Closed Due to Budget Cuts
Despite having big names like MC Lyte and KRS-One make appearances to support the cause, the Global Awareness Through Hip Hop Culture program is facing hard times. A Los Angeles charter school has been forced to shut down the class this June due to budget cuts, after having returned to the school in September 2010 after a one-year hiatus.
Founded by Sebastian Elkouby in 2006, the program was originally intended to be offered to teenagers as "an innovative, standards-based music, language arts, and social studies program designed to assist low-performing students in developing their language skills, life skills, and global awareness through culturally responsive pedagogy." Since its establishment, it has sent students on DJ retreats and led its founder to be branded as an "Educator of Distinction" by the National Society of High School Scholars.
Though Elkouby faces a setback with the recent budget cuts, he's hoping that the program will continue on. "It doesn't even have to be offered at a school," he says. "I'm open to bringing the program wherever the need is. I know that there's money available to fund creative programs. We just have to find it. Who knows? It may even come from someone in the Hip Hop community."