top of page
Doris Drake Spoken Word Program Columbia South Carolina Rebirth Youth Development Program

Providing Youth & Literary Arts Where it's Needed the Most 




Here's a word from our Director, Doris Drake


The Rebirth Spoken Word Youth Development Program helps to enrich the total life of the youth.  The program is designed to help the youth acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to: recognize and manage their emotions, demonstrate caring and concern for others, and build self-confidence. Through the tool of Spoken Word, they will release those emotions in a healthy and productive way. 


Youth emotions can often be hard to express or deal with. They either suppress their emotions or act out their feelings in negative ways. Rebirth Youth Development helps children express themselves in a positive and appropriate way. If given constructive strategies to deal with their emotions, we believe the number of kids involved in criminal activity, behavioral issues inside the classroom, and bullying will decrease.

Therefore, Rebirth Youth Development introduces Spoken Word to children as an outlet to express themselves in a positive, fun, and engaging environment. Art is an expression or application of human creative skill and imagination. Spoken Word, a form of poetry, is a performance art that is word-based. It is an oral art that focuses on the aesthetics of wordplay, intonation, and voice inflection. Typically, the program benefits all kids as it provides healthy strategies, using poetry, to cope with their emotions. However, this program is a great intervention for kids who have a pattern of behavioral issues, experience trauma or adversities, and/or have difficulty expressing their emotions in healthy ways.

Spoken Word is a tool that can be used to enhance the youth's social and emotional learning skills. Social and emotional learning is an effective way to reduce risky behavior and the effects of adverse environmental situations. While Spoken Word Workshop is beneficial to all students, it can be used as an intervention for those students who may fall in Tiers 2 and 3 of the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS).

Doris Drake Spoken Word Program Columbia South Carolina Rebirth Youth Development Program


Upon completion of the Rebirth Spoken Word Youth Development program, students will:


• Communicate in productive ways.

• Use a more positive outlet to express themselves.


• Manage their emotional reactions in productive ways.


• Have the coping skills needed to address issues related to childhood trauma.


• Verbalize their personal issues


Current interventions are not based on the research

● Out of School Suspension
● In-School Suspension
● Detentions


Research conducted by John Hattie (2016) shows that these interventions have a negative or
reverse impact on students’ achievement. In addition, these interventions' outcomes do not
meet the desired results of correcting students’ behavior or issues. The habitual offenders or
“high-risk” students are using these interventions for their personal benefit. These interventions
do not meet the functions of behavior and they do not meet the needs of the behavior or the
why of the behavior.

Rebirth Spoken Word Youth Development Program is a form of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Through the use of art in the form of Spoken Word, students will identify and learn how to productively express the root cause of their behavior.


Our program is not a means of punishment for their behavior but rather a tool to help them assess their behavior and provide a healthy coping mechanism to help students manage their reactions in appropriate and
respectful ways.  If we implement more positive interventions there would be no need for
interventions that are resulting in negative or reverse impact.

Source:  Hattie, J. Visible Learning for Literacy, Grades K-12: Implementing the Practices That Work Best
to Accelerate Student Learning.
(2016) Corwin Press.


Grief, poetry, and the sweet unexpected
•  Longitudinal study (22 years)
•  Subject: Youth inside juvenile detentions centers and individuals who have experienced traumatic life circumstances

Enhancing the Benefits of Written Emotional Disclosure Through Response Training

•  Written emotional disclosure has physical and mental health benefits
•  Subject: Students wrote about distressing life event for 3 20 minute sessions 


Hip hop and spoken word therapy with urban youth
•  Subject: Urban youth



Dept of Education

Content Standards 

A.  Inquiry-Based Literacy Standards (I) 

  • Standard 2: Transact with texts to formulate questions, propose explanations, and consider alternative views and multiple perspectives. 

  • Standard 3: Construct knowledge, applying disciplinary concepts and tools, to build deeper understanding of the world through exploration, collaboration, and analysis. 

  • Standard 5: Reflect throughout the inquiry process to assess metacognition, broaden understanding, and guide actions, both individually and collaboratively. 

B. Reading – Informational Text (RI) 

  • Standard 2: Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds. 

  • Standard 3: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words. 

  • Standard 5: Determine meaning and develop logical interpretations by making predictions, inferring, drawing conclusions, analyzing, synthesizing, providing evidence, and investigating multiple interpretations. 

  • Standard 9: Interpret and analyze the author’s use of words, phrases, and conventions, and how their relationships shape meaning and tone in print and multimedia texts. 

C. Writing 

  • Standard 2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. 

  • Standard 3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences. 

D. Communication 

  • Standard 1: Interact with others to explore ideas and concepts, communicate meaning, and develop logical interpretations through collaborative conversations; build upon the ideas of others to clearly express one’s own views while respecting diverse perspectives. 

  • Standard 2: Articulate ideas, claims, and perspectives in a logical sequence using information, findings, and credible evidence from sources. 

  • Standard 3: Communicate information through strategic use of multiple modalities, visual displays, and multimedia to enrich understanding when presenting ideas and information. 

  • Standard 4: Critique how a speaker addresses content and uses stylistic and structural craft techniques to inform, engage, and impact audiences. 

E. Theatre, Design, and Media Arts Standards 

  • Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure. 

  • Anchor Standard 5: I can interpret and evaluate live or recorded dramatic performances as an active audience member. 

  • Anchor Standard 1: I can create scenes and write scripts using story elements and structure. 

 F. Technology 

  • 4a Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems. 

  • 4b Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks. 

  • 6a Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication. 

  • 6b Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations. 

  • 6c Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations. 

  • 6d Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences. 

bottom of page