Rhode Island

Facebook Founder Surprises Providence Middle Schoolers

Del Sesto Middle School staff and Providence school officials expected visitors to stop by and take a look at their work with personalized learning in real time but it was a huge surprise when THE Marc Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan walked in. (They were expecting representatives of the organization, not the head honchos!)

Zuckerberg was in his trademark jeans and a sweatshirt for the surprise visit. After their tour meeting students and visiting classrooms, the Facebook founder and his wife had a meeting with Governor Raimondo.

Photo credit: Del Sesto Middle School

According to WPRI’s Dan McGowan and Ted Nesi:

A spokesperson for the city said Mark Zuckerberg visited Del Sesto Middle School in Providence. Pictures posted on the school’s Facebook page showed him and his wife, Priscilla Chan, touring classrooms in the school in the city’s Hartford neighborhood.

Zuckerberg, Chan and Jim Shelton, their charity-like organization’s president for education, met with the governor and her staff in the afternoon “to discuss how Rhode Island is working to implement a statewide personalized learning initiative,” Raimondo spokesman Mike Raia said.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Facebook couple’s organization, has given $1.56 million to Raimondo’s Office of Innovation to assist with the personalized learning program, which launched last September. The Atlantic has called Rhode Island “a national leader in the drive to put personalized-learning programs into actual classroom practice.”

In a statement, Providence school officials said they knew “representatives” from the Chan Zuckeberg Initiative would be visiting, but were “delighted when the foundation’s namesakes showed up in person.”





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