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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Hundreds of Philadelphia school children got a surprise visit from rapper Meek Mill during their first week back in class.
Wednesday morning’s stop at James G. Blaine elementary school was the first of many for the Philadephia native. Mill is on a mission to encourage Philadelphia students to focus on their education one backpack at a time.
It was a nostalgic stop for the star. The Strawberry Mansion school is his Alma mater.
Mill handed out 500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies. The young students could not hide their excitement, some were even speechless.
“Eeee! I’m so excited!” said 4th grader Karter Stubbs.
Excitement and joy was palpable in the auditorium as the students each received the gift from the famous rapper.
However, a glitch during the event aired unclean versions of many of the rapper’s songs to be played over loudspeakers. “We certainly do not promote playing profane music in our schools,” the Philadephia School District said in a statement regarding the explicit lyrics.
In spite of that glitch, the event continued was deemed “successful” by school officials.
During the giveaway event, Mill gave a family-friendly interview to Eyewitness News that described his return to his stomping grounds.
“I remember the basketball coach making me play the best player on the team, and I lost. And I couldn’t play of the basketball team,” recalled Mill.
Still – the star was happy to be back.
Over two days, Mill in partnership with Puma, will give away more than 6,000 backpacks to kids of all ages in 12 Philly schools.
Mill says it’s a mission that took root in his childhood, watching family and friends struggle.
“Everyone can’t afford school supplies and stuff like that because I grew up in that type of situation,” said Mill.
But schools superintendent William Hite says Mill’s gesture goes beyond what these kids physically walk away with in their hands.
“What he represents for the students is he was a success no matter the challenges. But more importantly, he is also giving back to his community,” said Hite.
A valuable lesson to learn at any age.