RZA traveled to Staten Island on Thursday (Feb. 27) to inspire and donate supplies to some local students. The Wu-Tang Clan legend gifted 30 brand new Apple iPad Pros to Stapleton’s Public School 78.
According to SI Live, RZA was inspired to donate the iPads after teacher Jo Ann Accardi tweeted to him last May, saying that her school needed new technology for its students.
“I’m here today because one of your teachers sent me a tweet on my Twitter and she said that there wasn’t enough iPads, just enough to go around,” he addressed the students. “I reached out to my Wu-Tang brothers and Apple, and we have some iPads here going to the school and going to your classes so you guys have a better chance for a proper education.”
Accardi, who recalled initially launching a fundraiser to purchase five Google Chromebooks for her class, thanked RZA for his generosity when he instead offered 30 iPads, so that there would be enough for the whole class.
“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 DOE [Department of Education], but you need to have technology to use them,” she said. “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.”
After making his donation, RZA fielded some questions from students about his career, childhood and more. The school’s Principal Jodi Contento expressed how impactful it was to have a New York-bred success story like RZA speak to the class.
“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,” he said. “It’s all about bringing in the positive role models. We know how much is out there that is not always positive for us to see. Having those positive models and success stories are tremendous.”
The students had a gift for RZA, too. At the end of his appearance, the class presented the rap veteran with a box of snacks and a wooden piece signed by the students, which resembled the Wu-Tang Clan symbol and the number 78.
RZA left the students with an inspiring message.
“I still got dreams to fulfill,” he said. “Never stop dreaming, all right?”