Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are opening up a private school for underprivileged students in East Palo Alto,the San-Jose Mercury News reported Thursday.
The concept is called The Primary School, the Mercury News reports, and is intended to cater to preschoolers and students in kindergarten through eighth grade in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. The school is slated to open in August.
“The project stems from Chan’s passion to alleviate the effects of poverty on children,” the Mercury News reports.
The size of the donation Zuckerberg and Chan are making is unknown, but we do know that the school will be free, and will be able to cater to 700 students and their families.
Zuckerberg and Chan are no strangers to philanthropy. In May 2014, Zuckerberg and his wifedonated $120 millionto help students in low-income communities in the Bay Area. Last fall, the coupledonated $25 millionto fight ebola.
In February, San Francisco General Hospital announced it would be renamed after the coupledonated $75 millionto it. And a few years ago, Zuckerbergdonated $100 million to Newark, New Jersey’s failing public-school systemwith the intention of turning around the schools in five years.
And Chan is well-versed in education – she used to be an elementary school science teacher. She’s now a pediatrician at the San Francisco General Hospital.
In July the couple announced in a Facebook post thatthey’re expecting a baby girl.The great news comes after some hard times: Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook that he and Chan had three miscarriages and that they’ve been trying to have a baby for a few years.
Wealthy tech folks in Silicon Valley have been trying to disrupt the traditional education system for a while now. AltSchool – a Bay Area-based network of “micro-schools” founded by ex-Googler Max Ventilla – raised $100 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Zuckerberg himself earlier this year. Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings has donated to Rocketship Education, a Bay Area charter school, and VC Tim Draper started his own university.