Parents of two Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan have teamed up with Sesame Workshop and The Primary School on the new education initiative

By Jen Juneau
September 12, 2019 10:10 AM

Mark Zuckerberg and Dr. Priscilla Chan are leveraging their initiative for a good (and educational) cause.

The tech mogul, 35, and pediatrician’s philanthropic organization, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, is working in conjunction with The Primary School and Sesame Workshop to help fund a “new curriculum” that aims to “integrate social emotional learning into early childhood literacy lessons,” according to a press release.

“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is proud to support a collaboration between The Primary School and Sesame Workshop,” Dr. Chan, 34, says in a promotional video before getting a visit from every kid’s favorite friendly red monster: Elmo, who couldn’t be more excited for the project.

“We’re teaming up to develop an early-literacy curriculum,” Dr. Chan adds — and her furry friend can’t help but chime in, “Oh, we can play with blocks, too! Hooray!”

The press release states that Sesame Workshop and The Primary School “have been developing and piloting the new curriculum over the past two years at The Primary School’s flagship site in East Palo Alto, California,” and that “the curriculum will be digitized and made available online for use in additional qualifying early learning classrooms across the country” by late 2020.

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Priscilla Chan (L) partners with Primary School and Sesame Workshop
Courtesy Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Priscilla Chan (L) and Elmo
Courtesy Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

“And it goes beyond academics to meet the physical, cognitive and social-emotional needs of the whole child — and monster, too,” Dr. Chan continues in the video, addressing her Sesame Street pal.

Elmo then joins a group of students playing with wooden blocks. According to their teacher, the kids are “learning how to be engineers by building a bridge.”

Then, the group demonstrates to their visitor how to take a “belly breath,” which the teacher explains is a “great way to calm down.”

“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is proud to support The Primary School and Sesame Workshop as they research and create a whole-child curriculum, building a future for all children,” Dr. Chan says near the end of the clip.

Mark Zuckerberg (R) and Dr. Priscilla Chan with their daughters
Mark Zuckerberg/Instagram

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Dr. Chan and Facebook founder and CEO Zuckerberg, who married in 2012, share two children together: daughters August, 2, and Maxima (a.k.a. “Max”), 3½.

In January 2018, Zuckerberg shared a photo of Max on her first day of preschool, showing him and his wife crouching down to talk to their older daughter about her big day.

“First day of preschool,” the proud father wrote. “They grow up so quickly.”