FA Partners With Young Audiences To Launch New Hip Hop Songwriting and Photography Clubs

Foundation Academies Hip Hop Songwriting Club
Artist Bomani Armah leading students in a freeze dance warm-up

This school year has been anything but typical, but even during these unusual times, Foundation Academy students have been shining bright and getting creative in the classroom.

In one Google Meet call, poet Bomani Armah asked students to shout out vocabulary words and made up a rap on the spot using each one. In another video call, photographer Erik James Montgomery shared his screen and demonstrated how to edit an image in Pixlr by playing with tone, filters, sharpness, and clarity.

This fall, with the support of the Friends of Foundation Academies, FA partnered with Young Audiences of New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania to launch two new co-curricular clubs: Hip-Hop Songwriting Club and Photography Club. Both groups meet every Wednesday morning to learn new skills and engage in creative projects under the guidance of an artist-in-residence.

“Students in the photography club have been loving learning about different kinds of photography and techniques they can use,” says writing teacher and Photography Club advisor Ms. Yentema. “Students have been learning to be creative using everyday items in their pictures and have enjoyed working with editing software to make their pictures even more eye-catching!”

Foundation Academies Photography Club
Students present their edited photographs to the class for feedback

Young Audiences Arts for Learning is a national organization that connects exceptional teaching artists with schools to provide in-depth arts residencies that raise academic and artistic achievement, while inspiring young people and expanding their learning through the arts.

These clubs would not be possible without the support of our amazing artists-in-residence, photographer Erik James Montgomery and poet Bomani Armah.

“Mr. Armah has been a phenomenal instructor who has done a wonderful job of connecting with students while in the virtual setting. His practice includes raps that teach students the process of writing music, counting syllables, and identifying how to write a rap when given a certain meter. Mr. Armah is actively contributing to building not only our scholars’ music-related skills but also their confidence,” explains Ms. Freeman, the Hip-Hop Songwriting Club advisor.

Both clubs will continue in the winter and we are so excited to see what our students create!

An excerpt of the Hip Hop Songwriting Club’s presentation at our Fall Clubs Expo
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Krystal Cohen

Krystal Cohen is a member of the Advancement team at Foundation Academies where she aids with fundraising and community outreach efforts. Krystal holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Princeton University and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Affairs.