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Rapper Common surprises students at NY school, donates money

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/20/2017 By MESFIN FEKADU, AP Music Writer
Musician and actor Common and his mother Dr. Mahalia Hines visit the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassadors for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common and his mother Dr. Mahalia Hines visit the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassadors for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar and Grammy winner Common surprised a group of New York students by donating $10,000 to help their teachers buy supplies like calculators and science kits.

Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

The rapper-actor partnered with the nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores to give Renaissance School of the Arts in Harlem the funds on Thursday. Students cheered loudly after they learned the musician was at their school.

Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Common was on-site with his mother, Dr. Mahalia Hines, an educator and member of the Chicago Board of Education. She said she remembered spending her own money to buy essential materials for her classroom.

Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Common encouraged the students to keep their grades up and to persevere — in school and in life.

Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Burlington has been raising money from its 599 stores to help other schools, asking customers to donate $1 or more.

Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as an ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Musician and actor Common visits the Renaissance School of the Arts as Ambassador for AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington Stores on Thursday, July 20, 2017, in New York. Common will be fulfilling all the wish lists that teachers and faculty put together for the school's needs for the upcoming year. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
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