Elon Musk's foundation to give Flint middle schoolers laptops

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News
Elon Musk

Flint — A $423,600 donation from tech billionaire Elon Musk’s foundation will provide Google Chromebooks to all seventh- and eighth-grade students in Flint Community Schools.

The donation comes as the district explores a new FCS High Tech Junior High School for grades seven through nine at the former Northern High School site. The district is also moving forward with a one-to-one technology initiative, which will launch in two phases starting in January 2019 at Scott Middle School.

In October, the California-based Musk Foundation donated $480,350 to replace all water filters in the district.

“I’m glad the Musk Foundation has been helpful to the children of Flint in providing clean water and computers,” Musk said in a statement. “We intend to do more in the future.”

District superintendent Derrick Lopez said the district has remained focused on the needs of its middle school-aged students.

“While our district has faced many challenges in recent years, we are now positioned to build a strong foundation for our students’ future through a solid secondary school education," Lopez said.

The Mott Foundation also provided the district with a $300,000 grant to revise its current middle school curriculum and the school's instructional practices.

The new curriculum, planned for the 2019-20 school year, will include nationally renowned instructional models such as the Algebra Project, the Young People’s Project, and Project Lead the Way.

Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Mott Foundation, said the new middle school curriculum is more hands-on and project-based.

“We understand this approach will be more engaging and exciting for students, which we hope will help them succeed through middle and high school and into college and career,” White said.