(Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
Pharrell Williams is giving back to his home state of Virginia by opening a private school for low-income families.
According to the Associated Press, the school will be tuition-free for at least the first year with costs covered by philanthropic support. The first school will open in Ghent, which is a neighborhood in Norfolk, Virginia.
The 48-year-old said in a press release, “If the system is fixed and unfair, then it needs to be broken. We don’t want lockstep learning where so many kids fall behind; we want bespoke learning designed for each child, where the things that make a child different are the same things that will make a child rise up and take flight.”
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The school will be called Yellowhab, “yellow” after Williams’ nonprofit and “hab '' is after the movie The Martian. Yellowhab will begin with grades three through five and approximately 50 students.
Mike McGalliard, executive director of William's nonprofit Yellow, said in a statement, “We are very clear here that we’re not taking away from the city or the district. We want to be additive and not put any kind of onerous, intrusive impact on those institutions. It’s very important that we not disrupt that revenue stream.”
Yellow works with charter advocates and McGalliard founded charters in Los Angeles and Harlem.
Families can apply to the school online at www.teamyellow.org/yellowhab until July 1. Additionally, students will be picked through a lottery process. The school opens Sept. 7.
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