Michelle Obama praises Chance the Rapper for $1 million donation to Chicago schools

By Sarah Walker

Chance the Rapper has made a whopping donation to the Chicago public school system, and it's a move that's being applauded by many, including former first lady Michelle Obama.

The GRAMMY award-winning artist held a press conference on Monday to announce that he'll donate $1 million to inner-city facilities to fund "arts and enrichment programming."

His specific focus is a primary school in the city's infamous South Side, an impoverished area of town where the 23-year-old rapper grew up. Other famous faces from similar neighbourhoods in Chicago include Kanye West, Jennifer Hudson, Common and Lupe Fiasco.

TAP FOR GALLERY Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to the Chicago public school system.

Because of budget issues, school programs in North America's fifth largest city have recently been slashed, and many low-income families have been told the school year could be shortened by up to 13 days.

“This means over 380,000 kids will not have adult-supervised activities in June and could possibly be put in harm’s way,” Chance noted.

His concern over the issue was so great he connected with Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss what could be done.

Unfortunately, “Our talks were unsuccessful," the rapper noted on Monday. "Governor Rauner still won’t commit to giving Chicago’s kids a chance without caveats or ultimatums... [He] gave me a lot of vague answers... Our kids should not be held hostage because of political positioning.”

The rapper has called on other's to help fund education.

That's why the "No Problem" singer decided to step in.

With the help of his concert promoters, Chance says he and others “were able to band together to use funds from ticket sales to donate to [Chicago Public Schools, CPS]."

He went on to call on businesses to open up their wallets.

“This isn’t about politics. This isn’t about posturing. Everybody and [their] momma knows about what’s going on in Chicago. It’s constantly talked about. But we’re about to enhance the conversation. As a private citizen, as a parent and as a product of CPS, I’m asking that you guys join and fight with me, organize with me, mobilize with me, for the interest of the children of Chicago. This is the very beginning.”

Shortly after his announcement, Michelle Obama broadcast her support for the move on Twitter, saying "Thanks @chancetherapper for giving back to the Chicago community, which gave us so much. You are an example of the power of arts education."

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