Alphabet Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, David Drummond, announced that Google.org is donating $1.5 million to bring computer science education to students in Chicago, with $500,000 going to Chicago Public Schools’ CS4All Initiative and $1 million to SocialWorks.
SocialWorks, a non profit cofounded by Chance The Rapper, is on a mission to ensure that youth from across the city have access to programming and the supports necessary to reach their full potential as citizens – including ensuring that they have access to arts, music, and coding as a means to express themselves.
Today, 5th grade students at Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Academy in Chicago got a surprise. The students were doing a coding activity with Chicago Googlers as a part of Computer Science Education Week. To their surprise, another Chicago native joined the fun. When Chance The Rapper arrived, there were shouts of excitement and delight, and Chance even gave coding a try.
The grant will help teachers implement computer science and arts curriculum in their classrooms, and it builds on $40 million in Google.org grants that provide opportunities for students underrepresented in computer science to explore the field.
In a statement, Justin Cunningham, Executive Director of SocialWorks said, “Our grant with Google.org helps SocialWorks provide programming that sheds light on another pathway to success for young Chicagoans. 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.”
Justin Steele, Google.org Principal who leads our work in local communities, had this to say about today’s announcement: “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. 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-whether that’s art, writing, music or something else-into something bigger.