Chance the Rapper’s life was changed because of digital access– he recorded and distributed his first mix tape at the Harold Washington Library. Now he’s on a mission to bridge the digital divide in Chicago to help more kids like him utilize the Internet to launch their future career.
4,000 Chicago Public School students participated in Chance’s “Get Schooled. Get Connected” challenge this year. The challenge, which was also put on by Comcast, aims to bridge the digital divide by guiding students through online educational modules that help build life skills. Two schools, John Fiske and Scammon Elementary Schools earned the most points doing the challenge, and last Friday Chance visited with students from both the schools to congratulate their accomplishment.
“Having home Internet access can transform a young person’s life, because it opens an entire world to special programs like the ‘Get Schooled, Get Connected Challenge,’” said Chance the Rapper, in a release. “One student and one family at a time, this program will help close the digital divide by engaging and educating students throughout Chicago.”
The education modules, which are accessed online at getschooled.com/getconnected, take students through games, surveys, and quizzes that discuss life skills like making educational plans and applying to college. The hope is that these “quests” (as they’re called) will help students build digital and life skills, while offering a productive after school activity. This year 4,000 students from 20 CPS schools participated in the challenge, completing over 150,000 quests overall over a two month period.
Comcast supported the challenge through its Internet Essentials program, which provides low income families with wireless internet for about $10 per month. Since beginning the program, Comcast has connected 27,000 low-income Chicago families to the Internet at home. In addition, Comcast chipped in a $9,000 fund for John Fiske, Scammon, and several other schools that participated in the spring challenge.