DAGHA Ed offers inner city youth a safe environment after school where they can learn from the community, help develop their community and learn potential career/life skills in music and the performing arts. In Dwayne Simmons they have an apt lead teacher. Mr. Simmons is a musician of International acclaim: As Hip-Hop artist Dagha, his album “The Divorce” was rated among The Hip Hop Connection’s top 40 albums of 2008. He stands in a unique position to encourage multicultural learning and sharing. As Director of Strategic Initiatives for local non-profit Boston Scores, he has trained teachers and implemented this curriculum to over 1,000 students in 30 elementary and middle schools. Dagha and some of his students were featured on CNN as well as being recognized by President Obama for their achievements working with young people.

Vision: To offer a life-long, indelible experience for scores of area youth who might otherwise find themselves uninspired to reach their true potential. There is a bridge between fine arts and popular culture that too many of our youth are missing and this curriculum employs the best methodology to address it. Students will have ample opportunities to strengthen their literacy skills through analyzing songs and creating their own lyrics. They will be able to identify and express their voices and communicate their unique perspectives and stories to others. Students will be given an opportunity to reflect upon the world in which they live, how they fit into that world, and how they would like to change the world. This is a songwriting/recording and video production program for children of all ages. Students will write their own original songs then create a video for their song.

Mission: Creating and recording original works with youth who have yet to realize they have a talent for something to benefit the community.

Marketing Strategies: The music industry is a Multi-Billion dollar World Wide enterprise. Equally compelling is the fact that Music is the only Universal Language, and Boston can and will most certainly draw a benefit from having a literacy-based songwriting curriculum where students may come together to share lyrics, poetry, beats and culture. If there is one thing that ALL students (and most adults) do, it is listening to music. Some of these students will be savvy enough to already know how to make their own music, but for those just learning and for those who want to prepare to learn music as a profession they need direct hands-on participation and tutelage. Given that sort of commitment, Boston will see more students in a position to control their own destinies in life. The students can read, write and produce music and prepare to attend music schools like Berklee, or record labels at monthly showcases could discover them. Artists from any and all genres of music will be encouraged to stop by to share their experiences with the students.

Where: Existing school or community center where the curriculum is being implemented during afterschool hours, vacation, and summer breaks for interested students.

Who: 3rd – 12th grade students, student/teacher ratio 15:1, two sessions per week for 4 weeks.

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