Pharrell Williams to Open Private Schools for Low-Income Families


Pharrell Williams will be opening small private schools for low-income families. The singer recently established YELLOWHAB, a “network of micro schools” that will start with a location in Norfolk, Virginia.  The schools will serve elementary-aged children in an all-day educational program.

In a press release to The Virginian-Pilot, the 48-year-old musician stated: “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.”

According to YELLOWHAB’s website, it will focus on creating “an immersive educational environment that sparks imagination in a story-filled space where children transcend the everyday on a journey for deeper learning.”

The name YELLOWHAB is inspired by Williams’ nonprofit, YELLOW, with “hab” coming from the name of the Mars habitat in the movie “The Martian.”



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The first YELLOWHAB school is set to open in September 2021, for 40 to 50 students in grades 3 through 5 living in Virginia. Tuition will be free for at least the first year and the cost of attendance will be covered by philanthropic support.

In order for a child to be eligible for YELLOWHAB’s lottery, certain requirements need to be met, such as:

– The child is a resident of Norfolk, VA (proof of residency is required if selected)
– The child is a rising 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader
– The child qualifies for the Federal Free and Reduced-price Lunch program (or meets family income requirements)

For more information on YELLOWHAB you can visit their website and Instagram page.


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