Mark Zuckerberg Gives $20 Million to Help Schools Get Faster Internet


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
EducationSuperHighway, 1 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104, United States

Mark Zuckerberg, who has made global Internet access a top priority through Facebook’s Internet.org project, is now using some of his personal wealth to expand high-speed Internet access in the United States. On Nov 16, a nonprofit group that helps kindergarten through 12th-grade schools tap federal funds to acquire and improve high-speed Internet connections announced that Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr. Priscilla Chan, had agreed to donate $20 million to its work. The nonprofit group, called EducationSuperHighway, had received a gift of $3 million from Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan in 2013.

Zuckerberg, co-founder and chief executive of Facebook, supports the group’s goals as a means to his ultimate goal of spreading “personalized learning” -- the idea of using online platforms to help tailor education to the needs and interests of individual students. He and his wife are hoping to accelerate school district adoption of the telecommunications infrastructure needed to support those kind of customized digital education programs. “Mark and Priscilla believe that equipping K-12 classrooms with Internet connections is essential for students to thrive in the knowledge economy,” Jen Holleran, the executive director of Startup:Education, a nonprofit that oversees the Zuckerberg family’s educational giving, said in a statement. “Fast, reliable broadband is the foundational infrastructure that is needed to bring personalized and digital learning to every child and teacher in America."

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