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The hit ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary gives a glimpse into the experiences of educators navigating obstacles that come with working at an underfunded public school. Variety reported that the show’s network is focusing on empowering youth by joining forces with Scholastic to organize free book fairs throughout the country.
The mockumentary-style show—created by writer, producer and comedian Quinta Brunson—has changed how many perceive fundamental inequities within the school system. ABC is on a mission to drive change within communities that education funding gaps have significantly impacted. Through the initiative with Scholastic, the network will host book fairs at Title 1 schools where students will be gifted with two free books, and educators will receive ten pieces of literature to build their classroom libraries.
The participating schools are Harrity Elementary, which served as inspiration for the sitcom, California-based schools Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary and Cortada Elementary, Minneapolis’ Dayton’s Bluff Elementary, Freeman Elementary in Flint, Chicago’s Bond Elementary and Diehl Elementary in Pennsylvania. The book fairs will be hosted between March 14 and March 18.
ABC will also bring back its Traveling Teacher’s Lounge, a project in which thousands of books, school supplies, food and Abbott Elementary-inspired gifts were donated to educators in Philly, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. The traveling lounge will visit Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and other cities.
News about the free book fairs comes after it was announced the show donated a portion of its marketing budget to provide teachers with supplies. “We chose to put the marketing money toward supplies for teachers. It’s about being able to make those kinds of decisions that really excite me, things that can really materially help people,” Brunson shared with NPR.
Projects like the one being led by ABC and Scholastic are vital as inadequate funding at public schools is one of the nation’s most pressing issues.
“‘Abbott Elementary’ shines light on and reflects the experiences and challenges faced by our country’s educators,” Erin Weir, who serves as EVP of Marketing for ABC & General Entertainment, shared in a statement. “We had an extraordinary opportunity and responsibility to amplify that mission in our series marketing efforts. Giving back to this deserving community has been a pillar of our campaign from day one, and thanks to several incredible partnerships, like our collaboration with Scholastic, we’ve had the great fortune of celebrating teachers through supply donations, grassroots activations and more while also sharing the joy of our hilarious new comedy.”