D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy holds first hip-hop class for middle schoolers

D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy
D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy(WECT)
Published: Jun. 6, 2023 at 6:37 AM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A hip-hop class at D.C. Virgo Preparatory Academy is underway, giving seventh and eighth graders a way to learn how to identify and express themselves through music.

The class is part of the Hip-Hop Collective, a pilot program introduced by UNCW and other community partners.

“Our pilot program and how we’ve implemented it in our community, I hope that other folks in our area, across the state, across the country really want to pick up on creative and valuable ways like this of helping kids build their resilience,” J’vanete Skiba, assistant director of Equity, Education and Engagment for New Hanover County Resiliency Task Force, said.

Students employed beat-making, digital technology and lyric writing to showcase their original hip-hop songs, spoken word pieces, and graffiti projects to an audience.

“Listening to the beats that they made, hearing the lyrics that they wrote, seeing some of the graffiti art they created, it was these moments seeing who they were,” Skiba said.

The program is designed to align with the Community Resiliency Model, which allows students to track their nervous systems to bring their state of mind, body and spirit into their “resiliency” zone. Coordinators want to impart this model to help students who have faced or are currently facing trauma.

“This new thing that we brought to them I think opened their eyes to different possibilities, so they came in expecting things as usual, got something new and then they ran with it in the end,” Skiba said.