MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist and the ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has given a contribution of $20 million to the schools in the Cleveland area.
The donation, which will be used to establish the CMSD Get More Opportunities Fund, was revealed by CEO Eric Gordon at a presentation that took place at East Tech High School in Cleveland. The donation will be allocated in three primary areas: (1) financing opportunities for children such as summer camps and travel; (2) one-time enhancements such as sporting equipment and musical instruments; and (3) chances for educators such as tuition for instructors to earn extra certifications. The contribution will be allocated in $4 million per year increments.
Gordon said that it is essential that the financing be unrestricted, which indicates that it does not need to be confined to any one particular use.
During the next five years, according to Gordon, the monies would be utilized for a wide variety of causes, and he announced many early investments, including the following:
- The school district is investing in new technology for its football teams in order to have instant replay aired at games and is acquiring two shot clocks, a shooting and rebound machine, and new equipment for its basketball teams.
- In conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic, the John Hay School of Science and Medicine will be outfitted with virtual reality equipment in order to establish a new anatomy curriculum for the school’s student body.
- The All City Arts Program of CMSD will soon be the proud owner of a portable wireless microphone system that will be used to enhance performances held throughout the year.
- Funding was also provided for a number of initiatives proposed by educators to create new curricula and assist students while they are learning in the classroom. These include an educational trip for pupils to Costa Rica as well as attempts to enhance trauma-informed practices in the classroom.
- The break rooms for the drivers of the buses will be updated with new furniture and places to work on computers.
Aside from the early investments, Gordon listed a number of additional options that may be sponsored for children. These opportunities include students’ involvement in foreign exchange programs, scholarships to assist them earn their driver’s license, and eighth grade visits to Washington, D.C.
Training, the formation of employee resource groups, and the funding of “many innovation awards” for educators are some of the other options that have been brought up in reference to educators.
In the not-too-distant future, according to Gordon, information regarding the process by which students and educators can apply for scholarships and other opportunities made available by the fund will be made public.