NY1 News Shines Spotlight on RHYME Program at PS 105

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Thrive Collective’s RHYME program at PS 105Q in Far Rockaway, Queens was recently featured on NY1 News. Reporter Roger Clark interviewed students, Principal Laurie Shapiro and RHYME staff on June 2, and returned three days later for a live segment with Jeremy Del Rio, founder and executive director of Thrive.

Three years ago, Thrive Collective worked with PS 105 students to produce the “Wave of Kindness” mural on the front of the building. For the last two years, Thrive teaching artists, brothers Lawrence Cole and Paul Cole, have directed RHYME at the school. The students will soon release “Limitless,” an album of original songs. Another mural project will also be started.

RHYME stands for “Rhymes Helping Young Minds Excel.”

“We connect the dots between mic skills and life skills,” said Randy Mason, founder and director of RHYME. “There are a lot of transferable principles that kids can glean from the process of writing songs, like communication and collaboration, and literary components such as reading and writing.”

Speaking with Roger Clark, Jeremy Del Rio said that something magical happens when kids are empowered to find their voice and work as a team to say something meaningful. Watch the interview below.

“The expression and connection between the creativity, teamwork, and the beauty that results from it transcends the art and music rooms. It bleeds into the science labs and into the gymnasium and into the lunchroom. When kids are awakened and impacted in this way it impacts the culture and the vitality of the school.”

Jeremy Del Rio elaborated on Thrive’s mission. The non-profit organization was founded in 2014 to eradicate artless education in the city’s most underserved communities. Unfortunately, the disparity of opportunities in the arts for students is even more evident in 2023 as New York celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of hip-hop music and culture.

“Fifty years ago, kids in low income areas invented an art form that changed the world,” Jeremy said. “That can’t happen today because we don’t have the same level of arts education in the very same neighborhoods that birthed hip hop all those years ago. Thrive Collective is building that bridge back. We are creating platforms and onramps for local artists, local talent, to come in as resident teaching artists and empower students to find their voice and do beautiful things that will endure.”

NY 1 Reporter Roger Clark was impressed with Thrive Collective and RHYME.

“It’s amazing to see what these kids can do,” he said during the live broadcast. “All you have to do is give them the opportunity and the talent just flows out.”

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