Hamilton Education Competition Provides Broadway Experience to Disadvantaged Youth

Erbin Stanley, a Broadway performer, showcases his rap skills portraying Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the hit show Hamilton eight times weekly in New York City.

Instead of the usual affluent audience, last week saw hundreds of middle and high school students, resembling Stanley, enraptured and cheering in the audience.

Cast of Hamilton (Daniel Rader)

Organized by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Hamilton Education Program, low-income students from across the nation gathered in Manhattan to celebrate their victories in EduHam’s annual competition, promoting history learning through original performances like songs or poems. Other students were selected through a lottery after participating in EduHam’s free curriculum focusing on the founding era.

Chloe Flood, a junior at Cesar Chavez High School in Arizona, praised the immersive learning experience of the program by stating, “It’s more memorable to get involved with the learning process through performances instead of textbooks.”

For many youths attending their first professional show, the performance reignited their interest in historical social and cultural aspects not typically covered in classes.

Chloe Flood highlighted the importance of understanding the personal impacts of historical events, stating, “I’ve heard a lot of statistics, but I’ve never learned how things affect the people who lived through them.”

Justus Gaines, an 8th-grade Maryland student, reflected on how the program brought history to life in ways traditional textbooks had not, emphasizing the need for a more engaging approach to history education.

During an interactive session with students post-show, Stanley shared his own struggles in achieving success, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and not giving up on one’s dreams.

An image of the students attending the event can be seen below:

Daniel Rader

Other articles

Post Image
Education
New Administrators’ Entry Plan

After years of diligent preparation for a school leadership role—participating i …

Read More
Post Image
Education
Cell phone policies in NYC schools highlight difficulties of implementing statewide ban.

Forest Hills High School’s cell phone policy appears straightforward on th …

Read More
Post Image
Education
Michigan school districts must allocate federal stimulus funds before deadline

Michigan is sitting on billions of dollars in COVID-19 federal funding earmarked …

Read More