CHICAGO - Chicago native and Grammy winner Chance the Rapper announced on Friday that his non-profit organization SocialWorks has raised $2.2 million that will be given to 20 CPS schools for arts education programs.
"Funding for public schools is the single most important investment a community can make," said 24-year-old Chance the Rapper.
At the Harold Washington Cultural Center on Friday afternoon, 20 CPS principals joined the artist, whose real name is Chancellor Bennett, and his non-profit SocialWorks to make the announcement.
"These schools will receive $100,000 over the next three years with budgeting and staffing and guidance provided by CPS and Ingenuity," said Chance.
The principals of the 20 schools only recently found out they'd been selected based on their schools' needs and their budgetary restrictions. One of the reasons these particular schools were selected is because of the innovation of the individual principals. They've come up with ways to use this newly-found cash to go a step beyond the basics and provide exciting experiences for their students.
"As a parent and proud product of CPS, I'm committed to helping Chicago's children have quality learning experiences that include the arts," Chance said in a statement. "Over the past month, I've crisscrossed the city, from Chatham to Chinatown, Humboldt Park to Hyde Park, visiting students and one thing is clear: if we invest in Chicago's children, we'll change the world."
Principals from the 20 schools that were selected committed to funding fully-staffed arts programs at their school for the length of the grant. Each school will receive $100,000 over the next three years.
SocialWorks, in partnership with CPS and arts education advocacy organization Ingenuity, created the New Chance Arts & Literature Fund to bring arts education to schools where budgets have been cut.
The fund's goal is strengthen arts curriculum, provide materials to students, encourage enrichment opportunities and hold CPS accountable for maintaining standards for the programs.
This is part of the $1 million the rapper pledged to schools back in March. At that time he also agreed to donate $10,000 for every $100,000 donated by other groups to support Chicago schools. Nine schools have already received funds from that pledge.
The 20 CPS schools selected for the grants are:
Ambrose Plamondon Elementary
Mireles Elementary Academy
C.E. Hughes Elementary
Edmond Burke Elementary
Edward White Career Academy
Corliss High School
Greenleaf Whittier Elementary
Mahalia Jackson Elementary
Michele Clark Academic Prep Magnet High School
Ninos Heroes Elementary
Orr Academy High School
Robert A. Black Magnet Elementary
Spry Community Links High School
W.K. New Sullivan Elementary