Education, Government & Non-Profit

Flocabulary Careers, Pay and Expert Network

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Flocabulary is a Brooklyn-based company that creates educational hip hop songs, videos and additional materials for students in grades K-12. Founded in 2004 by Blake Harrison and Alex Rappaport, the company takes a nontraditional approach to teaching vocabulary, United States history, math, science and other subjects by integrating content into recorded raps. Flocabularys website features videos, lesson plans, activities and assessments. The company has emphasized outreach to underprivileged schools in its business decisions. As of 2015, more than 35,000 schools use Flocabulary products in the classroom. Flocabulary has been praised by rapper Snoop Dogg, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and historian Howard Zinn, and the companys products have been generally well received by educators and the press. However, the project has been criticized for perceived cultural inauthenticity and politically charged material in some song lyrics. Blake Harrison conceived of the idea that would become Flocabulary while in high school. Inspired by hip hop artists like Outkast and A Tribe Called Quest, Harrison wanted to combine the easy retainability of hip hop lyrics with educational content. Harrison graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in English. He then moved to San Francisco, where he met Alex Rappaport, a music graduate of Tufts University. Harrison shared his idea with Rappaport, and in 2004 the two made a demo recording of two songs with a combined total of 80 SAT words. Within two months Sparknotes made the songs available for free streaming, and soon afterward Harrison and Rappaport set up a Flocabulary website. Cider Mill Press published Flocabulary books and distributed them through Sterling Publishing to sell the book at Barnes & Noble and Borders stores. The Hip Hop Approach to SAT Vocabulary sold 10,000 copies in its first year of publication and was reprinted five times. In 2005, Flocabulary went on a promotional tour of concerts at schools.


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