Thetis White is a 5th grade teacher at Monroe Elementary School in the Anoka-Hennepin School in Brooklyn Park and his students surprised him with a massive check both in size and value as part of Teacher Appreciation Week. The total of the check was for $50,000!

White was working for UPS and also was a football coach for many years when he decided to take his career in another direction to help kids in his community and became a teacher. The money was donated from General Mills Box Tops For Education and Black Men Teach. White's reaction was that this was an awesome gift and now he has less to worry about moving forward since he can use this money to pay off his student loans.

Markus Flynn, executive director of Black Men Teach said in a news release:

Seeing someone who looks like you leading the classroom has a lot of psychological benefits. Representation is so important and powerful. Even for those who don’t identify as Black, seeing a Black man in that role helps undermine unconscious bias.

According to Bring Me The News Black Men teach report that: " black boys who have a black male teacher are 29% less likely to drop out of school later and black boys who's families are low income are 39% less likely to drop out of school later in their years. But of the roughly 64,000 teachers in Minnesota just 1.4.% are black and only 0.5% of them are black men."

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In addition to the $50,000 that was given to white General Mills Box Tops For Education is donating an additional $500.000 over the next four years to be used to fund scholarships and loan forgiveness for more black men to pursue a degree in education.

Teachers can be such an influential figure in a child's life and I agree whole heartedly that early in a kids education it is so important that teachers recognize how influential they can be for that child's future not only in how they view school but what could shape their future careers and endeavors. This type of program is so essential and it would be incredible to see more corporations follow suit.

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