Building equity in education
“Minnesota has some of the worst educational disparities in the nation,” says Markus Flynn, executive director, Black Men Teach.
Nationally, less than 2 percent of teachers are Black men. In Minnesota, it is less than 0.5 percent.
To address that gap, Box Tops for Education began partnering with Black Men Teach in 2021 and committed to donating $500,000 over four years to help increase the number of Black male elementary school teachers in Minnesota classrooms.
Black Men Teach
Black Men Teach (BMT) is a nonprofit organization located in Minneapolis with a mission to recruit, prepare, place and retain Black male teachers in elementary schools.
“When you have Black men in the classroom, Black children perform better, stay in school longer and go further in their education,” says Flynn.
Recent studies show that students with a Black male teacher are 29 percent less likely to drop out of school years later. That number increases to 39 percent for very low-income Black students.
To help support more Black male teachers, funds donated from Box Tops are going toward teacher loan-forgiveness, scholarships and BMT programming.
“Without a doubt, I know if we did not have the teacher student loan forgiveness program, a lot of people would leave the profession early,” says Flynn.
Keon, Devon and James are all first-year teachers in Minnesota. Watch the video below to learn how BMT and Box Tops are supporting their goals of being a teacher in Minnesota.
”One of my favorite things about being a teacher is knowing that I can make an impact every day.” – Devon, a first-year teacher in Minnesota
Box Tops for Education
“The support of Black Men Teach is going to change the classroom experience for hundreds of children across Minnesota,” says Courtney Schroeder, head of diversity, inclusion and belonging, General Mills. “My bigger dream for this partnership is that it inspires others to find ways to create equity in education and find ways to put representation in the classroom here in Minnesota and across the nation.”
The partnership with BMT is funded above and beyond Box Tops’ core program and is part of General Mills' larger commitment to racial equity. Since 1996, Box Tops has provided nearly $1 billion for education. In 2022 alone, Box Tops participants earned nearly $7 million with more than $2.6 million going to support ‘Schools in Need,’ where more than 40 percent of the student population is on the Free and Reduced Lunch Program.
“We know that inequities in education play a key role in the issue of systemic racism,” says Lilly Moeding, brand experience manager, General Mills. “We’re excited to provide our third payment of $125K to Black Men Teach this May in support of Teacher Appreciation Month. These funds advance our commitment to help increase representation in Minnesota classrooms.”
To learn how you can help schools in need and download the app visit BoxTops4Education.com.
Visit BlackMenTeachTC.org to learn more and support their mission.