While the issue of systemic racism runs deep and wide, we know that inequities in education play a key role and it's time for real and lasting change. Box Tops will build on its legacy of giving nearly $1 billion dollars to schools, with a renewed focus on creating greater equity in education for kids of color so they can reach their full potential.
Box Tops for Education is teaming up with Walmart for a back-to-school partnership with the LeBron James Family Foundation to advance racial equity in education. Together, we are highlighting the many ways diverse educators and school support staff can improve students’ outcomes and education. This back-to-school season, we're sharing the stories of three different teachers of color who have made a big impact both in the classroom and in the eyes of their students.
"Teachers and school staff are some of the most influential people in our kids’ lives. I know firsthand how important it is to see and learn from diverse educators — it builds confidence and creates a connection for every single student." – LeBron James
Wondering how you can help? You can now choose to support a School In Need through the Box Tops app!
A new feature in the Box Tops app allows Box Tops participants to search for schools that could use a little extra help. Participants can continue to support any school they would like, but we have made it easier to search for and support a School In Need. To learn more about Schools In Need, visit btfe.com/school-in-need
Partnering with Black Men Teach
Earlier this year, during Teacher Appreciation Week, we are started with celebrating and recognizing Black male teachers in our own backyard of Minneapolis, MN. Research has shown that Black male teachers have an immense positive impact for all students in the classroom, yet they are significantly underrepresented, and this needs to change. That’s why Box Tops committed to donating $500,000 to Black Men Teach to help increase the number of Black male elementary school teachers in MN classrooms.
Our first donation came as a surprise to 5th Grade teacher, Thetis White, at Monroe Elementary in Brooklyn Park, MN. Mr. White feels that his teaching goes beyond the lessons in textbooks. In addition to being a positive role model for young black men, Mr. White wants to show families of all races and backgrounds that black men are smart educators and role models. His full story and reaction to our donation can be seen here:
The demographics of our community are changing and nowhere is this more apparent than in the hallways and classrooms of our schools. According to Black Men Teach, today only 2% of teachers in the U.S. are Black males, and in Minnesota, the gap widens with just 0.5%. We know that Black students who have even one Black teacher in elementary school are more likely to go to college and less likely to drop out of high school. Early exposure to a Black male teacher also increases the likelihood of those students enrolling in college by 13% and decreases the likelihood of dropping out of school by 39%.
We recognize that there is a lot of work to be done in this space. We’re committed to advancing the Box Tops mission of increasing racial equity in education and embarking on a journey to help students that need it the most reach their fullest potential. Beyond this partnership with Black Men Teach, we are collaborating with MN community leaders to better equip schools and teachers to address racial bias. We have also enhanced the Box Tops app to help participants find and support the schools that need it most.
We have a long way to go, and there is more to come.