Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts donates $200,000 for air-conditioning units in Philadelphia schools

Jalen Hurts attends the 2024 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament National Championship between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the South Carolina Gamecocks at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on April 07, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

(PHILADELPHIA) -- Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Jalen Hurts is giving back to the community in a big way.

Hurts has donated $200,000 for air conditioners in Philadelphia-area schools to ensure students can stay comfortable during warmer months.

The superintendent of the Philadelphia school district, Dr. Tony B. Watlington Sr., told ABC News' Good Morning America that the donation is set to add 300 air-conditioning units to 10 local schools. The donation will ultimately impact more than 5,000 students in the district, Watlington Sr. said.

"I think back to my time as a student not being able to imagine some of the things that you guys have to go through," Hurts said while speaking last week at a Philadelphia-area school. "I just want to serve you guys and help in any way I can."

"More than half of our schools lack appropriate air-conditioning such that when the temperature climbs higher than 86 to 90 degrees, we too often have to let our kids go home early," Watlington Sr. said. "And that really impacts student achievement."

Watlington Sr. said the increase in air conditioners will benefit more than just students.

"It benefits teachers, as well, because when teachers have optimal teaching conditions, they're more likely to return as teachers," he said.

Hurts' donation highlights a larger, nationwide need for updated cooling systems in public schools.

According to the Government Accountability Office, as of 2020, "41% of districts need to update or replace heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems," totaling about 36,000 schools in need of updates.

The Philadelphia superintendent said installation of the air-conditioning units has begun, and the project will be complete by the start of the next school year.

Monday, April 29, 2024 at 4:54AM by Mason Leib, ABC News Permalink