Flint, MI — October 5, 2018 — Flint Community Schools (FCS) will be installing new ultraviolet (UV) water filtration systems for water fountains throughout all of the school buildings thanks to a $480,350 donation from Elon Musk and the Musk Foundation.
This donation comes as a group within the Flint Community Schools continues to work tirelessly to devise a long-term solution to the challenge of clean water that has plagued the community for the past four years. That group includes key partners from the Office of City of Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, [lead by the City of Flint Technical Advisory Team, comprised of research scientists, medical and public health experts], the Board of Education and Executive Staff of the Flint Community Schools, and leaders within the United Methodist Church. Additional members of the team include principals of the Murdock Company and Gray Matter, who will provide the new water stations and the filtration technology embedded in the units.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and the budding partnership between Flint Community Schools, the Musk Foundation and Elon Musk,” said Derrick Lopez, Flint Community Schools Superintendent. “The new water filtration systems will be instrumental in helping our students return to the normalcy of what should be a fundamental right: having access to safe, clean water from water fountains in their school.”
“I am truly humbled by the generosity and the budding relationship between Mr. Musk and Flint schools, led by superintendent Derrick Lopez,” said Mayor Weaver. Weaver joins the Flint Schools in thanking Elon Musk for the commitment that has been made to Flint Community Schools. “After conversations with Mr. Musk’s team about several challenges our city is still facing, and this was one of them, we appreciated them providing an opportunity for a sense of normalcy to be returned to our children, which are our most precious resource. ”
With the donated funds, UV filtration systems will be installed in all 12 FCS schools and the district’s administration building by the end of January. The UV water purification method within the water filtration systems will disinfect all lead and bacteria coming from the water pipes to allow students to drink from and fill up water bottles from school water fountains.
“On behalf of the FCS Board, we are grateful to the Musk Foundation for this donation, which will ensure that students in Flint Community Schools have access to safe drinking water at the source—in drinking fountains—by way of the same type of water filtration system used by hospitals and colleges in Flint,” said Board President Diana Wright. “This incredible expression of support from the Musk Foundation, combined with the long-standing support of the Mott Foundation and other community partners, has been wonderful for our District.”
Flint Community Schools utilizes a whole school, whole community and whole child (WSCC) collaborative approach to its student curriculum. The WSCC model, created by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), was established under the preface that schools offer the optimal setting for collaboration between society, the economy and individuals within school communities. The model identifies the link between health and education, as well as their impact on all levels of society and the economy. As such, protecting the mental, physical and emotional health of students is the duty of all members of the community.
“As we strive to shape the future of Flint through the hard work and success of our students, it is the generosity and collaboration among parents, partners and the community at large that will ultimately lead to improved outcomes for all,” Lopez said. “We are truly thankful for the continued support of our children and families.”