One, Two, Three...Rap!

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One, Two, Three...Rap!: Teach English and Empower the Youth through Rap music & Hip Hop culture

Paris (75), Seine-Saint-Denis (93), FranceParis, France
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Established in 2012, our organization provides free English workshops to young people using a fun, interactive and unique teaching method. We believe that motivation is the key to learning, which is why our main teaching tool is something young people can truly relate to: Hip Hop!

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if young people could learn English and grow self-confidence thanks to Hip Hop?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

English has become an essential asset in today's French labour market. Unfortunately, the youth of France appears to be lacking in this respect due to the inability of traditional teaching methods to get young people interested in English. Also, while certain families can afford to pay for private tutoring and exchange programs, others are denied this opportunity.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We provide free English workshops to young people in disadvantaged neighbourhoods’ using a fun, interactive and unique teaching method. We believe that motivation is the key to learning, which is why our main teaching tool is something young people can truly relate to: Hip Hop! Every year, from September to June, our weekly workshops provide a regular dose of American culture and language. The program is divided into 3 stages: Song Translation - Writing - Recording/Performing.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our association provides the opportunity for participants to perform their own songs on stage, record them upon completion of the program and collaborate with artists or other young people. Going on stage and recording CDs helps them increase their English speaking confidence, and teaching them about different political/social contexts allows them to enlarge their curiosity. Moreover, by creating a diverse group of young people who come from different areas of Paris and who share a common love for hip hop, we build group cohesiveness and strong teamwork. All in all, by empowering the youth we help them develop the abilities they need to enter the labour market and other tools they will be using in everyday life.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We found a way of stimulating young people's interest in language learning by providing a fun and relaxed approach, through which they are able to learn and express freely in English without constantly feeling judged. Our extracurricular initiative gained interest from people involved in academic education, such as teachers or other school representatives. In May 2014 we provided paid workshops at a high school in collaboration with an English teacher. Next year, we will renew the experience and work with other educational instutitions like middle and high schools.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

For now our idea is solely operating in Ile-De-France. However we might provide workshops in other French regions next year, and even expand our project to other European countries as well. We are also working on an online platform which would make our program and method available for both learners and teachers from all over the world.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

- provide more paid workshops at middle/high schools and other institutions - apply for more grants from private foundations - crowdfunding

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

A few individuals and organizations in the world are already using Hip Hop as an educational tool for English or other subjects. However, we pushed the idea further by incorporating Creative Expression, Artistic Collaboration and Empowerment into our program.

Founding Story

One, Two, Three...Rap!'s president Audrey Noeltner, who used to be a tutor at La Maison Verte (a community centre where we now provide weekly workshops), noted the students' lack of motivation to learn English. She joined forces with co-founders Atte Oksanen and Nastasia Tennant, who all share a common passion for hip hop, and together they came up with this innovative project.


- 15 volunteers (president, treasurer, head of communication, teachers) - 1 service civique (similar to a part-time employee) Over the next three years and beyond, our goal is to hire a full-time employee and recruit more volunteers who want to engage in the long run in an activity that promotes youth empowerment. We aim at building a solid relationship between those volunteers in order to ensure that “One, Two, Three…RAP!” keeps growing.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

, Paris

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Paris (75), Seine-Saint-Denis (93)

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, Regional government.


Grants from:
- Fondation Auchan,
- Mairie du 18ème arrondissement (Paris)
- Fondation HSBC

Primary Target Age Group

13 - 17, 18 - 35.

Your role in Education


Please specify which of the following best applies:

I am applying on behalf of a particular program or initiative.

The type of school(s) your solution is affiliated with (if applicable)

Public (tuition-free).

Intervention Focus

Curricular, Extracurricular, Professional Development, Online Learning.

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?

Actively Designing Space & Culture as Essential Elements for Learning: Creating cost-effective methods to infuse a school with habits, language, and materials needed for learning through play.

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?

Whole child development is undervalued: Essential parts of development get left behind as children get older, such as healthy habits, executive function, and social and emotional learning.

What key learning outcomes does your work seek to improve?

Our goals are twofold: providing motivation and helping participants gain self-confidence. Through the use of Hip Hop we hope to motivate young people to learn English and allow them to be culturally open minded. Through frequent oral expression within the confines of a relaxed and friendly environment, we aim at boosting their self-confidence.

A few people in the world are already using Hip Hop as an educational tool for English or other subjects. However, we pushed the idea further by incorporating Creative Expression, Artistic Collaboration and Empowerment into our program.

Secondary Form
PROGRAM DESIGN CLARITY: We are hungry to know more about what exactly your model consists of. Please succinctly list a) what main activities are you doing with your beneficiaries, b) where you carry out the activities? c) how often? d) for how many hours? e) who delivers the services? and f) any other brief details

Ateliers d'apprentissage de l'anglais : 4 ateliers 1 fois par semaine pendant 2h
Enregistrement d'un CD : 1 fois par an
Réalisation d'un CLIP : 1 fois par an
2 Concerts par atelier par an
2 sorties par an pour tous les participants
Paris 18 et dans le 93
De octobre à fin juin tous les ans
Tout est gratuit et les membres du bureau plus une quinzaine de bénévoles
Les jeunes sont inclus dans tous les processus d'organisation des événements
Ils montent sur scène écrivent leur textes, élaborent le scénario du clip, décident le thème des chansons lors des concerts et nous proposent des sorties.

INSPIRATION: What do you consider the most important trends or evidence that inspire you to believe the world is ready to Re-imagine Learning? Please elaborate.

Plusieurs professeurs d'anglais ont été intéressé par nos ateliers et cette année nous allons intervenir dans plusieurs collèges et lycées en Ile-de-France. Les professeurs ne savent pas comment intéresser leurs élèves et ont besoin de pédagogie différente, plus ludiques et qui motivent et donnent envie d'apprendre aux jeunes.
Nous sommes en train de faire des partenariats avec le ministère de l'éducation pour intégrer notre pédagogie novatrice dans les programmes scolaires français.

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: What does “learning through play” mean to you and why it is a must-have, instead of a nice to have?

Je pense que re-imaginer l'apprentissage c'est essayer d'autres moyens plus ludiques de motiver et de faire comprendre aux jeunes l'importance d'apprendre des choses. Le jeu est un des moyens pour susciter la curiosité et l'intérêt des jeunes et les amener à réussir à apprendre plus vite et dans de meilleures conditions.

SUSTAINABILITY: Please list a quick breakdown of your funding, indicating the percentage that comes from each source.

20% Public
10% fonds propres
70% Fondations privées

Nous essayons de développer les fonds publics, pour que la balance soit faite entre fonds publics et privés.

MODEL: How does your mission relate to your business model (i.e. Non-profit, for-profit or hybrid)?

Nous sommes à but non lucratif et toutes les activités sont ouvertes à tous et gratuites.

FUNDING PRIORITIES: If your organization were given $20K in unrestricted funding today, how would you use it? Why?

Avec 20 000 dollars, nous garderions la moitié pour organiser notre voyage de fin d'année à New York et l'autre moitié pour faire plus de sorties avec les jeunes et d'invitations d'artistes, avoir des locaux et un salarié en temps plein et pour finir ouvrir notre MOOC.

PARTNERSHIPS: Tell us about your partnerships that enhance your approach.

Mairie du 18ème : Mairie très accès autour de la culture. De plus, nous sommes ancrés dans cet arrondissement, qui a beaucoup de lieux et de jeunes a qui proposer nos ateliers.
Festival Paris hip hop : Notre cause commune autour du hip hop et de sa diffusion.
Mains d'Oeuvres et Café Culturel : Espaces culturels qui partagent nos valeurs
Animafac, LMDE et MIE : réseaux étudiants qui nous aident et nous soutiennent dans nos projets

COLLABORATIONS: Have you considered or initiated partnerships with any of the other Challenge Pacesetters? If so, please share.
VISION: If you had unlimited funding, and you could fast forward 15 years to when your program has been able to achieve wild success - what will it have achieved?

En 2020 je l'espère! Nous aurions une réelle implication dans l'éducation nationale et le ministère utiliserait notre pédagogie, notre MOOC serait vu et partagé dans le monde entier, pour aider les professeurs d'anglais du monde entier dans leur méthode de travail. Et nous organiserons des tables rondes et débats autour de l'apprentissage par le HIP HOP. De plus, nous aimerions organiser tous les ans un parcours hip hop aux USA.

IMPACT - KEY METRICS: Please list the key data points that you would cite as evidence that you are able to achieve lasting learning outcomes. Please also share one data point for which you most hope to see better results over time

De 2012 à 2014 : Nous avons des résultats sur les moyenne en anglais des participants. De plus, de plus en plus de jeunes viennent à nos ateliers.
Nous sommes en train de mettre en place des partenariats avec le ministère de l'éducation nationale. Nous intervenons dans des collèges et lycées.

IMPACT - REPORTING SAMPLE: Please attach any examples of your impact reporting. [optional]:
RESEARCH AND EVIDENCE: Please link or attach any research or evidence resource you are open to sharing more widely [optional]. Building research and evidence is a key aim of this initiative, and the resources you share may be chosen for listing in the Center for Education Innovations library:
SOURCE: If applicable - who created the research or evidence you are choosing to share? :
IMPACT - REACH: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

0 to 500

STUDY: Has an external evaluation or study been conducted of your organization?

In progress

Other (please specify)
Number of Employees:

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers:


APPROACHES: Given the complexity of play, it is not surprising that there have been numerous research attempts to categorize the different types and approaches! Please indicate which of the following your project focuses on.

Creating a Supportive Socio-Emotional Environment, Providing a Range of Opportunities (providing the equipment and materials needed for various types of play), Educational Structuring (developing playful projects within educational contexts), Adults Participating (Ensuring adults are able to play alongside children).

Other (please specify)
AFFILIATION: Please specify if your organization has any existing affiliations with the LEGO Group.