Just when you thought marquee favorite Will Smith had kicked enough major butt in such blockbusters as Independence Day, I, Robot and I Am Legend, the Philadelphia native and former rapper has outdone his silver screen stunts by tackling the herculean task of educating our youth, according to People.com.
The actor and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, homeschooled their kids, Jaden, 9, and Willow, 7, and are now launching the New Village Academy, a private institution in Calabasas, California, with a curriculum that focuses on technology and learning by doing. During a recent appearance on Live With Regis & Kelly, Smith didn’t share many details about the school but said that he was inspired from his family’s experiences with education.
“We started homeschooling our children probably six years ago,” he said. “We found about eight or nine other parents that homeschool, so we put the children together…. There are just very powerful educational concepts that we believe in, and we feel like we want to design the system that revolutionizes public education.”
Once the home of a continuing education high school, the academy plans to open its doors on September 3 to welcome prekindergarten through sixth grade students, according to its Web site. Each student will be provided with a laptop as well as all-organic, low-fat, sugar-free meals. The academy offers competitive tuitions and financial aid for eligible families. In 2005, Jada Pinkett Smith told ESSENCE: “The school system in this country—public and private—is designed for the industrial age. We’re in a technological age. We don’t want our kids to memorize. We want them to learn.”
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Essence