Cultural Affairs Office

Press and Communications

Reading With a Rapper Challenges Low Literacy Rates in Texas with New Campaign in Partnership with MOCA

February 3, 2023 -- Reading With A Rapperâ„¢ (RWAR), the Houston-based literacy program, will announce their #TurnTexasYellow campaign in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), HTV, HISDTV and HCCTV at a press conference on Monday, February 6, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. at Houston City Hall.

"This partnership with Reading with a Rapper will enhance our ability to continue making a difference in literacy through the arts,” says Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This work is significant because low literacy affects the entire family and every area of the economy. We can make systemic changes and need organizations like this creatively impacting our youth while lifting up local musicians.”

MOCA, HTV and its affiliates will help amplify the efforts of RWAR through promotional and programming support via its broadcast channels. A major contributor to the future of education since its inception in 2018, RWAR recently launched a series of PSAs through its social media channels on MLK DAY 2023. HTV, HISDTV, HCCTV will air the same PSAs starting February 2023. The partnership will last until January 2024.

Reading with a Rapper

MOCA has consistently advocated for individual artists and creatives and last year increased its focus within music, a rich, cultural asset for Houston. With such significance to who Houston is, MOCA created a Houston Music Directory and Houston Music Advisory Board to support these advocacy efforts. Partnering with RWAR aligns with the city’s literacy work and the music community's priority of support for local musicians.

Presented by non-profit organization Legends Do Live (501c3), the mission of the #TurnTexasYellow campaign is to bring awareness to Texas' low literacy rates and install the RWAR pilot program throughout the state within the next 3-5 years.

The #TurnTexasYellow PSAs airing on HTV and its affiliate channels and shared on MOCA social media channels further demonstrate the state’s low literacy rates and offer ways to combat them.  Yellow is the program’s designated color for literacy and when a new school district, city or town adopts the RWAR curriculum, they are spreading the organization’s color creed across the state. The future of education is now.

The RWAR program offers compensation to both teachers and artists. For students, it also provides innovative resources, mental health support, plus relatable, engaging content and programming. Seven schools within the Houston area have adopted the RWAR program, and is slated to rollout this Spring in the following Houston and Alief Independent School Districts:

Houston ISD

  • Kelso Elementary School
  • McGowen Elementary School
  • Piney Point Elementary
  • Cullen Middle School
  • Fleming Middle School
  • Madison High School 
  • Worthing High School

Alief ISD

  • Holub Middle School

All HISD schools, except for Piney Point Elementary, are in Complete Communities. Complete Communities is Mayor Sylvester Turner’s signature initiative focusing on bridging the gap between equity and opportunity. Made up of ten historically under-resourced neighborhoods which together are home to one in six Houstonians, Complete Communities exists to ensure all residents can achieve success without barriers to opportunity.

For more information including media opportunities, please contact Jordan Lee Harris of RWAR by phone, 281.935.8339, or email

About Reading With A Rapper
RWAR was created in 2018 to relate English Language Arts (ELA) metrics and academics with socially conscious lyrics from known national recording artists, video content and technology. Through this platform RWAR relates and uplifts youth socially and academically to skills necessary to thrive in Secondary and Collegiate Level courses. Since RWAR’s inception, RWAR has toured the City of Houston with a series of demonstrations and events, touching over 30,000 students and educators of all ages and backgrounds.

Learn more at, and follow on Facebook and Instagram @ReadingwaRapper.

About the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
The City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs guides the City’s cultural investments with policies and initiatives that expand access to arts and cultural programs in the community, attract visitors and leverage private investment.

Learn more at And follow us on Facebook and Instagram @HoustonMOCA.