MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Memphis rapper NLE Choppa stopped by a Frayser elementary school Tuesday to celebrate the students reading more than 26 million words.

NLE Choppa, whose name is Bryson Potts, partnered with Cornerstone Prep Denver several years ago to encourage reading.

“I’m young myself. I’m only 19 so I’m a part of the youth as well as they’re our future, they’re our upbringing and one thing I just want to focus on is we save our youth,” NLE Choppa said. “I feel like in Memphis, Tennessee we have a problem with a lot of young males falling victim to the streets, gun violence, drugs, whatever and I just want to use my light, my positivity that it’s cool to come to school and read.”

His visit was part of their motivation and celebration.

School leaders say the encouragement is making a difference.

“We’ve never had so many young boys that love to read. So he really made reading cool for our students so that’s like the greatest impact to see boys checking out books,” said Ebony Jones, Dean of ELA at Cornerstone Prep.

“It can begin young. We’re trying to instill that message that your education is important, Bryson has helped us motivate our kids to read and that’s just priceless for them,” said Principal Michelle Lyons.

NLE Choppa is encouraging other artists to be leaders in the community. 

“Sometimes we don’t rap about the most positive things, we don’t say the things that glorify the most good. So I feel like the balance comes into place where, that’s just the entertainment side, show them the real-life side too,” he said. “This is real, what you hear on the radio, the music, that is just strictly entertainment. But right here this is what we want to do, every day. Right here, this is what we want to do, every day. This is what we need to be doing every day.”

NLE Choppa is now encouraging students to read 40 million words. He plans to visit the school again at the end of the year.