Hedge fund managers and husband and wife Kenneth C. Griffin and Anne Dias Griffin donated $10 million to establish the Griffin Early Education Center in Chicago Heights, Ill.
Funded by the Griffin Foundation, Chicago, and run by Harvard University and the University of Chicago, the center will provide free preschool education to 250 children. The center also will offer financial incentives for active involvement in their child's education to as many as 400 parents of preschool-age children not enrolled in the center. The academic success of students in both programs will be tracked through high school.
The Griffin gift also will support research on K-12 education, including teacher performance incentives and financial rewards for student-to-student mentoring.
Professors from both universities are leading the education initiatives, which will form the nucleus of a multiyear study seeking to identify ways to improve American education, according to a Griffin Foundation news release.
“Despite the best efforts of administrators and teachers, public education faces some serious challenges. We wanted to develop a program that would use rigorous research to find tangible ways to improve education performance on a national scale, and allow for the most cost-effective return on public funding. We believe this program will help to accomplish that,” Mr. Griffin, CEO and founder of Citadel Investment Group LLC, Chicago, wrote in an e-mail.
Ms. Dias Griffin is founder and managing partner of Aragon Global Management LLC, Chicago. — Christine Williamson