Posted by: csdailyblog | April 23, 2010

Hip Hopping at Conserve School on Earth Day

Antasia and Xaxira enjoy "free-styling": improvising rhyming phrases to a musical beat.

Angie gives free-styling a try.

The Seattle-based Hip Hop Hope project brought dance, rhythm, visual art, song, and poetry to Conserve School Thursday and led students and staff members in a unique and envigorating celebration of Earth Day. The day began with an opening presentation by students in Jeff Rennicke’s Environmental Communication course that focused on the legacy of environmentalist, Wisconsin senator, and Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson. Hip Hop Hope presenters Todd, Stephanie, and Antasia then warmed up the Conserve School staff and students with fun movement and word games, explained the history and culture of hip hop, and then led small groups in playful sessions of dance, writing, and word play in the hip hop tradition. The Hip Hop Hope project encourages

Cesar, Ayla, and Bace try out some break-dancing moves.

young people to find their voices, speak up on topics that are important to them, and express their views through the arts. Some of the themes touched on repeatedly by Todd, Stephanie, and Antasia during the day were the importance of being kind and supportive of one another, creating an accepting environment, encouraging each group member to freely express themselves, being true to yourself by “keeping it real” , and drawing on the beauty and power of nature for inspiration.

You can go to the Channel 12 news website to read a short article about Conserve School Earth Day activities and to their video center to see a short video segment on Hip Hop Hope’s visit.

Mary Anna

Photos by Megan, Conserve School student

Jennifer, Kath, Jill, Hannah, Kim, Robert, and Polina enjoy a confidence-building warm-up activity.

Bace, Jake, and Ben show off some dance moves.

Angie responds to Di as she reads a communal poem.

Students Stephanie, Maggie, Dick, William, and Ben follow the rhythm and movements of the Hip Hop Hope leaders.

Colin, Sophie, Jon, Begench, and Gretchen take turns reading sections of a poem they wrote together.

William and Angie write for five minutes in response to a prompt. Students later combined their contributions into a communal poem.

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