HIDDEN HISTORY: East Texas students improve writing skills through dancing and rapping

Black History Month

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Tyler ISD students are learning about Black History Month while improving their reading and writing skills.

Young Audiences Arts For Learning Northeast Texas introduced Grammy-nominated rapper and songwriter SaulPaul and artist Baba Bomani to students at the Caldwell Arts Academy.

“It’s really helpful, because its something some people like to do,” Fifth grade student AJ Brown says. “It’s just not sitting there and having a prompt and writing something. It’s actually fun! You get to rap and have rhythm with it.”

Students were entertained by SaulPaul as he presented “Tell Your Story,” a creative live show with a focus on storytelling.

“Storytelling is a very relevant skill,” SaulPaul says. “We connect with story. Whether it’s a job interview, they can share a story to communicate a message or whether they become a public speaker or are doing a presentation.”

Baba Bomani brought his Frederick Douglas Writing Club. His program is centered around vital writing skills with an emphasis on the historical figure.

“They are all engaged,” Caldwell Arts Academy Principal Bobby Markle says. “They all have their hands up. They are following directions, and it leaves an impact. These kids are going to learn the writing process that they can not only take back to the classroom now, but they can remember for a long time.”

Both artist visits were made possible through a partnership with Young Audiences Arts for Learning Northeast Texas.

“These are grammy-nominated artists who are working with Young Audiences National and the Kennedy Center,” Amy Baskin, executive director says. “We are able to bring them here to East Texas to work with our students and broaden the experience our children have.”

According to Young Audiences Arts for Learning, low socio-economic students highly engaged in the arts are two times more likely to graduate from college. The arts also create a feeling of connection and cooperation between students.

“It makes me thankful because there are people who can do things they want to do when they grow up,” Brown says.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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