Influential rapper RZA surprised a group of school children in Staten Island Thursday. He visited the school with a message of positivity and to donate of 30 iPad Pros.
RZA, a founding member of the legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, told children at PS78 to never stop dreaming, the Staten Island Advance reported.
Teacher Jo Ann Accardi reached out to RZA last May on social media and explained how the school lacked some technological resources. She had started a fundraiser to get five Chromebooks for her classroom.
While talking about the school and the students’ needs, RZA and the Children’ Literacy Council said that would not be enough. They determined 30 iPads would be able to help Accardi’s class and benefit the entire school.
"I have so many various levels in the room, I have English language learners, students with disabilities, general ed students, so we have all these programs under the (Department of Education), but you need to have technology to use them," Accardi told the Staten Island Advance. "So now this will be the bridge in order to get these kids reading on grade level, solving math problems on grade level. It kind of gives them tailored education."
A section of Staten Island honors the Wu-Tang Clan, whose members hail from the community. RZA, who is also a producer and actor, serves as a role model to the students.
"I really want to emphasize that any time somebody who has roots in the community comes back to share their successes, that's the most priceless thing we could have for our school," Principal Jodi Contento told the Staten Island Advance.
The students peppered RZA with questions and requests including if he would work on a song about their school.
To show gratitude, the school gave RZA a piece of wood shaped in the Wu-Tang logo and the school number 78 signed by all the students.
"I still got dreams to fulfill," RZA told the students, the Staten Island Advance reported. "Never stop dreaming, all right?"