Hip-hop is HELPing students learn to read through an innovative instructional program co-created by Gabriel Benn (aka Asheru ).

September 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Schools, out-of-school programs and juvenile detention educators are discovering a sound approach to reading instruction.

H.E.L.P. (Hip-Hop Educational Literacy Program) is a line of
supplemental instructional materials for language arts intervention
and enrichment.

Recently, Ms. Tara M. Brown, Assistant Professor, Minority & Urban
Education Graduate Program, Department of Curriculum & Instruction,
University of Maryland said:

"When students feel as though the lenses through which they see the world
are devalued or denigrated in school, it can, understandably, cause them
to, disengage. The Hip-Hop Educational Literacy Program is an effective and
authentic curricular innovation that draws students into academic learning
and helps them to develop the critical literacy skills they need. As a
teacher educator and former urban public school teacher, its ease of use
for teachers and its value for students is clear. Given the educational crises
within schools that serve, particularly, Black and Latino/a youth, H.E.L.P
responds directly to some of the most pressing issues facing education

Co-founded by Hip-Hop artist, professional educator, and arts advocate
Gabriel "Asheru" Benn, this innovative approach allows teachers,
educators, mentors and caregivers to tune in the pervasive popularity
of the Hip-Hop genre. H.E.L.P. uses high-interest reading and
real-world relevance to improve literacy while bridging demographic,
cultural, language, and achievement gaps.
Teacher-created, student-tested and standard-correlated workbooks
integrate the five essential components of effective reading
instruction as identified by the National Reading Panel. Resource
guides and professional development training facilitate effective use
of the materials to engage reluctant readers, promote cultural
responsive topics, address multiple learning styles and accommodate
differentiated instruction.

Carefully-selected, clean song lyrics from well-known Hip-Hop
recording artists are the sound foundation for H.E.L.P.'s creative
reading and writing activities. Positive character-building
messages, poignant social issues, literary devices, historical
references, metaphors, rhymes, and broad vocabulary within the songs
all provide cross-curricular opportunities during powerful language
arts instruction in one-on-one, small group and classroom

H.E.L.P workbook activities are leveled and designed to dramatically
impact struggling students who are, indeed, being left behind by low
reading skills. As an ancillary curriculum, H.E.L.P may be used
effectively with other programs such as Read 180 (tm) and Four-Blocks
(tm) and basal programs. Activities are differentiated and reading
skills are targeted to allow a prescriptive learning approach that
benefits both struggling and advanced students.

H.E.L.P . reflects the mission of its publisher, Educational Lyrics,
LLC. Gabriel Benn co-founded the company along with entrepreneur
special education expert Richard Henning. Educational Lyrics
develops its products while believing that reading improves lives and
that motivating, real- world connections help students become better
readers and thinkers. H.E.L.P's culturally rich, relevant
high-interest content enables such student engagement.


Tom Schamel
Parnterships and Development
Educational Lyrics