Monday, July 23, 2012

South LA first graders talent show raises funds for trip

When I visited KIPP Empower Academy in LA in March, I saw the students preparing to perform a step/breakdancing routine at the KIPP School Summit, which will be the first week of August in Orlando (here are my photos: The students gave their first performance recently – check out the AWESOME video at:

South LA first graders talent show raises funds for trip

A group of 21 first grade students from KIPP Empower Academy (KEA) in South LA are heading to Orlando this summer. The six-year-old steppers and breakdancers, known as StepUP—BreakDOWN, recently won a national competition and were selected to perform at the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) School Summit, an annual learning and community-building event that attracts teachers, school staff, funders and community partners from all over the country who want to transform public education. 

In order to attend the summit, the kids needed to raise funds for the trip. So, they held a talent show fundraiser this past Saturday. The event was a success and now the students will get a chance to participate in the KIPP School Summit.

The support the students received "will give them an opportunity to show people from all over the nation that with hard work and perseverance, they can do anything," said Mike Kerr, KEA founding principal in a statement. 

In order to be on the step and breakdance team, the students must maintain good grades and demonstrate positive character at the South Los Angeles KIPP elementary school.

KEA is a college-preparatory, tuition-free public charter elementary school in South Los Angeles that serves about 230 kindergarten and first grade students in 2011-12, with plans to add one grade each year until it reaches capacity in 2014 with 550 students in kindergarten through fourth grade.

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