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Hip Hop Highlights Enriched Learning

Tour the campus at Hebrew Academy during the school week. Students will be immersed in their studies, working collaboratively on hands-on projects or conducting science experiments. You may also see students busting out Dougie dance moves in our Hip Hop class.
    A hit among students, Hip Hop classes are part of our Enrichment Programming that brings learning to life (and, in some cases, to music) outside the classroom. Along with weekly Hip Hop instruction, our students expand their learning experiences in extracurricular classes ranging from swimming to soccer, technology, and music. While having fun, students in these programs build their confidence and social skills, discover talents and interests, and challenge themselves to try new things. We call them “enrichment” programs because they enrich our students’ education.
    “Dancing offers a creative outlet for students to express themselves,” says Laderryl Hart. He teaches our Hip Hop classes every Wednesday on campus to an enthusiastic group of 1st through 5th graders. “Sometimes kids have difficulty communicating what’s in their heart. Movement, dance, and music help them express their feelings and work through them to manage them better.”
    The benefits of dance classes and all our enrichment programs go beyond emotional management. Studies show that extracurricular activities help students create a sense of self-worth and identity and teach them to feel and show empathy for others. All of these align with the Hebrew Academy’s focus on an education steeped in Jewish values.
    “During Hip Hop, the kids clap for each other,” explains Laderryl, who also has two children attending Hebrew Academy. “When kids put themselves out there to perform in front of others, we ensure that everyone shows respect, compassion, and encouragement. This positive energy transfers into the classrooms as well. Teachers have told me how well the kids in the Hip Hop class get along and support each other.”
    When asked if Hip Hop classes can build academic skills, Laderryl says, “Absolutely! Memorizing complex new moves and routines requires practice, discipline, patience, and concentration. These are essential skills used daily in the classroom.
    As a bonus, the extracurricular activities the Hebrew Academy provides, like Hip Hop, swimming, and soccer, help kids build healthy habits and engage in physical activity, improving concentration and class performance. “It’s like we’re sneaking in exercise,” explains Laderryl. “They are having so much fun moving that they don’t realize they’re also getting in a great workout!”
   Check out the Hebrew Academy’s Enrichment page videos showcasing our students’ Hip Hop skills. We think you’ll agree. Our students have the moves and are going places. HACDS.org/Enrichment.

Rabbi Avrohom Popack is the A Judaic Studies Administrator at the Hebrew Academy


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