Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg and his doctor wife on Friday revealed plans to start a private school in a hardscrabble Silicon Valley town, mixing education with healthcare.
Zuckerberg voiced pride in his wife, Priscilla, for the plan to create “The Primary School” in the working-class city of East Palo Alto.
Chan works as a pediatrician and has also been a teacher, seeing first-hand how poor health hinders learning in classrooms, her husband said.
“Health and education are closely connected,” Zuckerberg said in a post on his Facebook page.
“When children aren’t healthy, they can’t learn as easily”. Despite being located between high-income Palo Alto and thriving Menlo Park where Facebook has its headquarters, East Palo Alto has long had a reputation for crime, gangs and poverty.
Chan has been working over the past year with the community to combine early-childhood through 12th grade education with pre-natal support and on-site healthcare for children, according to the blog post.
“By bringing healthcare and education together in one place, the goal is to support families and help children from underserved communities reach their full potential,” said Facebook co-founder and chief executive Zuckerberg.