Education in Greater Des Moines Gets Boost from Facebook Investments

Posted 10/16/2019

​With new education grants, Facebook has provided over $870,000 to Iowa schools and nonprofits.

Facebook has announced education investments grants to Des Moines area education institutions to strengthen Iowa learning communities for students, teachers, and administrators. In one grant, Facebook is expanding its partnership with DMACC by giving $97,000 to build a new, digital classroom to expand education opportunities to Iowa residents.

With the grant, DMACC will create a new digital classroom that creates online learning access and opportunities while easing the burden on students and instructors. The flexibility of digital, interactive learning will also encourage collaboration and exposure to new technologies, virtual sharing, and digital recording. DMACC will be able to provide expanded delivery to the communities it serves, including rural areas, regional businesses, and more.

This grant expands the already strong partnership between the DMACC and Facebook. Last year, DMACC and Facebook launched a customized Digital Marketing and Advertising curriculum. In September, Facebook announced it will continue funding those scholarships for the next two years. Facebook also provides career counseling for students who take and complete the Digital Marketing and Advertising curriculum and will offer scholarships to students who earn their certificate in Digital Marketing. To date, 80 Iowa residents have taken or are taking these courses. The scholarship grants over the three years will be about $265,000 for Iowa students.

“DMACC is extremely proud of our partnership with Facebook and the impact we’re able to have on students because of it,” says Michael Hoffman, Executive Director of Continuing Education at DMACC. “Our new digital classroom will redefine the student experience, providing a collaborative atmosphere that empowers both faculty and students beyond limitations of a traditional classroom."

Facebook is also providing a grant that will provide laptops for more than 1,100 students in the Bondurant-Farrar School District. This $355,000 grant enables every middle school and high school student in the district with the latest technology to afford the best opportunity for success.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant from Facebook; it is truly an investment in the students of Bondurant-Farrar and in the future of our community,” said Rich Powers, Bondurant-Farrar School District superintendent. “Facebook has been a tremendous partner for us for years and we look forward to continuing to partner with them on initiatives that will improve our students’ education.”

According to Matt Sexton, Facebook’s Community Development Regional Manager, “As a member of the greater Des Moines business community, Facebook believes a public/private partnership is critical to helping Iowa students reach their full potential and be prepared for tomorrow’s digital economy. As part of our commitment to Iowa, we are proud to work with Des Moines Area Community College and Southeast Polk and Bondurant-Farrar school districts to empower students with the tools and training they need for a successful future.”

Facebook will also provide a $40,000 grant to the Southeast Polk School District for STEM education, including teacher training.

Facebook will be launching its 2020 Community Action Grants which provide funding to organizations and schools in surrounding communities. In 2019, Facebook’s Community Grants Program provided over $200,000 in grants to local area schools and nonprofits. The 2020 application process will launch on Nov. 4th. Since breaking ground in 2013, Facebook has invested nearly $2 billion in its 3.5 million-square-foot Altoona Data Center.

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