Chance the Rapper, or Chancelor Bennett, wants kids to get excited about school — that’s one reason why he held a free concert in Chicago yesterday as students prepare for a new semester.
And that’s also why he served as the Grand Marshall in Chicago’s annual Bud Billiken parade — the oldest African American parade in the US that encourages students on their upcoming year — where he gave 30,000 kids a head start for the new school year.
While cruising in an an open-top car during the parade, Chance had 30,000 school supply-filled backpacks delivered to students, according to Pitchfork.
Chance’s youth empowerment charity SocialWorks teamed up with the charity STATE to distribute the backpacks.
For many families throughout the city, the backpacks and school supplies will ease the financial burden of returning to school.
In 2015, 13.3% of Chicago’s population lived below the poverty line, which was just over $24,000 for a family of four at the time, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Chicago Public School system understands the financial obstacles faced by many families in the city and has a program called Kits for Kidz to provide school supplies.
School supply kits on the website cost $13.50 and backpacks run between $5.75 to $7.75.
Chance the Rapper’s donation over the weekend is separate but will help to cover the demand for supplies in the city.
This isn’t the first time Chance has helped the city’s school system.
Earlier in the year, he donated $1 million to help cover budget deficits.
He sees his educational philanthropy as a way to fill in where city and state government have failed.
“The governor gave me a lot of vague answers in our meeting, and since has called me over the weekend. Our talks were unsuccessful,” Bennett said at the time. “Governor Rauner still won't commit to giving Chicago's kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums.”
Chance has been celebrated for his activism, most notably when he won the BET Humanitarian of the Year award.
On Sunday, former President Barack Obama continued to heap praise on the young hip hop artist in a video message during his concert.
A video of Obama during Chance's concert. Nothing but respect for MY President. pic.twitter.com/T0pb9lZogj— larry hut jr. (@TelegraphAvelou) August 13, 2017