Stephen Colbert had an important question for an official with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: "Does Bill Gates ever talk about me?"
The host of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" was in Seattle on Tuesday to help announce a $4.1 million donation from the foundation to donorschoose.org. Colbert is a board member of donorschoose, a Web site where teachers seek money for student projects and donors choose which projects they want to support.
Colbert pushed his real-life cause as he mentioned one that has long been the obsession of his fake-news-host persona: "As I endeavor to protect our children from bears, donorschoose.org is protecting public school kids from classrooms that lack the materials necessary to rigorously prepare them for college."
The donation by the foundation, headed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, will cover half the cost of projects that promote college readiness among students in high-need and underserved public schools. The grant is expected to help support more than 17,000 classroom projects across the nation.
Vicki Phillips, director of the education program at the Gates Foundation, expressed hope that the partnership will give citizen donors more incentive to help public school teachers.