The founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, want to help improve the quality of schools and education in their area. They are donating money through a foundation they started, called Startup: Education, in order to improve the way technology is used in classrooms.
The couple is donating $120 million to Bay Area schools around Palo Alto, California where they live, and the Bay Area as a whole.
"We live in Palo Alto, which has, fortunately, one of the greatest school districts in the country," she says in an interview with NBC's Today News. "But right next door, actually within walking distance of our home, is East Palo Alto that has a K-8 system that has a lot of unmet needs that the public school district is struggling to make up the difference for at this time."
The money the couple are donating will be distributed among different regional schools over the next five years. The first $5 million will go toward technology upgrades inside classrooms and support students that go to schools in less-privileged neighborhoods.
The couple are active in the schools and community where they reside. Zuckerberg taught a weekly after-school program and Chan is a pediatrician in the area. She also grew up within the public school system.
"Through those experiences and seeing the disparity that's in the Bay Area, our own community, where we really take a lot of pride in, we want to make this gift," Chan says. "And we want to continue to be involved in helping improve equality for all of our local kids."
The couple also posted a message on Facebook announcing the contribution. The message reiterates their desire to improve schools in areas that have less funds.
"Students from low income and minority backgrounds are the hardest hit, which means fewer end up graduating or attending college," the message reads. "Improving public education in our country and our community is something Priscilla and I really care about, and we want to change this."