Nearly one in four students in San José are at risk for dropping out of high school. Students who drop out are eight times more likely to be incarcerated and three times more likely to be unemployed (Sum et al. 2009). To address this issue, City Year San José provides academic and socio-emotional support at K-12 schools in East San José’s underserved neighborhoods. At Overfelt High School, City Year members work in classrooms all day, and we tutor students after school. The result? Ninety-four percent of the students who receive math and literacy tutoring from City Year improve on state assessments, and 95% of teachers report that City Year increases overall academic performance.
City Year has proven to be valuable to East San José, and we want to reach and retain as many students as possible. In order to radically engage youth of color academically and emotionally, effective urban educators argue schools must start using Hip Hop as a learning tool. This year, we will host the Hip Hop Workshop to
1) increase attendance rates in our after-school tutoring program and
2) supplement our socio-emotional learning curriculum (overcomingobstacles.org).
We will hold our workshops monthly in our after-school program where well-known Bay Area Hip Hop artists will 1) perform their music and 2) present about several topics––self-love, resilience, mentorship, racial identity, social entrepreneurship, and college/career readiness. Here, students will be able to ask the artists questions, participate in activities, and develop new skillsets and mindsets about their lives and education. We estimate the program will impact 300 ninth through twelfth grade students. After the first two performances, students will be able to attend the workshops if they attend 90% of their scheduled tutoring sessions, which will serve as an incentive for students to attend tutoring regularly.
Funded by San Jose, CA (November 2017)