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Exclusive: Abbott Elementary‘s Quinta Brunson is on a Mission to Support Teachers — Both On and Off the Screen

Ever since ABC’s Abbott Elementary became a runaway hit, Quinta Brunson has been using her sitcom to shine a spotlight on the incredible work teachers do. When the cameras turn off, the actress/writer/comedian continues to fight the good fight.

Brunson partnered with Box Tops for Education, a program that gives back to educators in a simple, direct way — just in time for Teacher Appreciation Month.  From now until May 31, shoppers can enter the code TEACHERSMAKEUSBETTER in the Box Tops for Education app, scan their first receipt for participating products, and earn $5 for a school in need. That money will go towards important resources for both teachers and students, like computers, library books and art supplies.

Brunson’s mom Norma Jean, a longtime kindergarten teacher in Philadelphia, gave the comedian a first-hand look at just how hard educators work. “It gave me a greater appreciation for what it is she does and helped me understand it’s not just an 8 to 3 job,” Brunson told SheKnows. “[There’s] so much more that goes into it.” Abbott Elementary was her chance to put teachers front and center, while offering viewers a look at life inside an under-resourced school. 

The biggest compliment Brunson can get about her show? Teachers who reach out and tell her that they’re loving it. Brunson also totally understands when they aren’t quite ready to watch. There have been some teachers who have been like, oh my God, this is too triggering, I’m going to need a minute,” she said.

Box Tops for Education has raised a staggering $940 million+ over the past 25 years. That money is critical for schools in high poverty districts, which according to The Education Trust, receive $1,000 less in funding per student than pupils in wealthier districts. So while that $5 may not seem like a lot on the surface, it can go a really long way when shoppers collectively scan those receipts.

That’s not all. Brunson is also taking to social media to promote the hashtag TeachersMakeUsBetter and ask fans to share the ways that educators have made their lives better. “It is such a big job that doesn’t get enough credit for being so big,” Brunson said. “It’s such a demanding, heavy workload that they just do with ease, even when it’s hard.”

 

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