Chance The Rapper should change his name to “Chance The Black Santa.” Instead of swooping down chimnies bearing gifts, he gives Chicago schools surprise visits, and they’re almost always preceded by hefty donations.
After crashing a coding class Wednesday (Dec. 6), shocking dozens of unsuspecting fifth graders at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Academy in Chicago, the Grammy-winning rapper stood among excutives of Google’s charitable arm to announce a $1.5 million donation to both Chicago Public Schools and Chance’s non profit, SocialWorks.
“Our grant with Google.org helps SocialWorks provide programming that sheds light on another pathway to success for young Chicagoans,” Justin Cunningham, executive director of of SocialWorks, said in a press release. “While every student doesn’t need to become a computer scientist, understanding the basics empowers them to understand the world they live in. The opportunity to help kids code to share their music, artwork, and distinct point of view is at the core of our mission and an experience we look forward to providing in classrooms across the city.”
SocialWorks is co-founded by Chance and aims to empower youth through the arts, education and civic engagement, while fostering leadership, accessiblity and positivity within the youth throughout Chicaco, according to its website.
With $500,000 going to Chicago Public Schools’ CS4All Initiative and $1 million to SocialWorks, Google.org Principal Justin Steele said in a press release that the grant will help teachers implement computer science and arts curriculum in their classrooms, giving the chance for students underrepresented in computer science to explore the field.
“We’re honored to support SocialWorks’ mission to help underrepresented students in Chicago reach their full potential, as well as Chicago Public Schools’ efforts to turn computer science into a pathway for creative expression,” Steele said.
“There’s so much talent and creativity in the communities that these schools serve—and Chance The Rapper embodies what can happen when that creativity is unleashed. With exposure to computer science, students can use technology to turn their creative passions into something bigger.”