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Culturally-Relevant Media Literacy Programming with Lucy Addison Middle School

Culturally-Relevant Media Literacy Programming with Lucy Addison Middle School

After learning about how Hip Hop Studies at Virginia Tech helped build Radford High School’s Bobcat Studio, Lucy Addison Middle School (LAMS) Assistant Principal Allyster Blanks contacted Craig Arthur, #VTDITC (Virginia Tech Diggin’ in the Crates) Hip Hop Studies faculty member, to learn how the project could be replicated at LAMS. The VTDITC leadership board determined this project as feasible and supporting the reach of Virginia Tech’s community engagement. 

This VT/Roanoke City Public Schools project is significant because it builds upon the successes of 5 years of #VTDITC: Hip Hop Studies at Virginia Tech programming with a unique opportunity to share skills and expertise with younger students who hold a similar passion. This novel project allows collaborative experiential learning and co-creation for LAMS and VT students and faculty while building upon the success of the Bobcat Studios project at Radford High School.

This project also highlights the success of CENI/ICAT’s Liaison Network – the program in which educators like Radford’s Dr. Jamie Little are embedded in both the school systems and Virginia Tech, enabling them to spot opportunities early and make the right connections. For example, the Bobcat Hip Hop Studio was a student-led effort that Dr. Little took to Craig Arthur. Perfectly aligned with the stated ICAT goals of education, transdisciplinary research, and outreach, this project seeks to establish, grow, and sustain the Hip Hop Club as a culturally-relevant program that provides a space for individual creativity and expression on the LAMS campus. 

Through CENI’s Jones SEAD Grant funding, members of the #VTDITC leadership board will be able to partner with LAMS staff and students to co-create a powerful learning environment that includes technical skills and creative process as well as culturally relevant pedagogy to realize the space’s potential. Specifically, the Hip Hop Club will be able to purchase updated equipment and gain technical support from #VTDITC, who can guide equipment purchases then train teachers and students in its use. 

To promote growth and sustainability, the Club will co-produce with #VTDITC a series of learning modules that address culture, media, and digital literacy.