Zuckerberg, Chan give $30 million to Harvard and MIT for literacy

In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, smile as they prepare for a speech in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are giving Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology $30 million to help improve the literacy skills of elementary school students across the nation.

The Reach Every Reader program will combine scientific research with methods of tracking and predicting students' reading abilities to develop a web-based screening tool to identify kindergartners at high risk of reading difficulties.

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MIT President Rafael Reif said "struggling to read can be a crushing blow with lifelong consequences" and when millions of children struggle, it's "a crisis for our society."

Chan called the five-year effort "a unique combination of cutting-edge education and neuroscience research."

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Zuckerberg created Facebook while a Harvard student but dropped out. Chan graduated from the Ivy League school in 2007.
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