'Abbott Elementary' gives Philadelphia teacher $1,000 for classroom supplies

Abbott Elementary Teacher Spotlight worked with DonorsChoose to find recipients nationwide like Linda Graham.

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Thursday, September 29, 2022
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One of this year's recipients is Linda Graham, a 5th-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary in North Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The award-winning ABC comedy Abbott Elementary is all about shining a spotlight on teachers.

It's something near and dear to show creator Quinta Brunson, whose mother was a kindergarten teacher in West Philadelphia for decades.

Brunson doesn't just celebrate teachers on screen, she also takes money out of the show's marketing budget to give real-life teachers much-needed money for their classrooms.

One of this year's recipients is Linda Graham, a 5th-grade teacher at Dunbar Elementary in North Philadelphia.

She's getting $1,000 from the show to fund dream projects in her classroom.

"It's exciting," Graham says. "When I found out, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't wait to tell the students and see what they wanted to buy and what they were excited about."

Mrs. Graham's classroom is all about hands-on projects.

"Since we love animals, we want to turn caterpillars into butterflies," Graham says. "Then we're going to work on growing ladybugs and releasing them into the wild. We're excited about trying to bring the lifecycle into the classroom."

Abbott Elementary Teacher Spotlight worked with DonorsChoose to find recipients nationwide, like Graham.

All of these extra projects typically come out of teachers' own pockets.

"We know that, on average, teachers are paying around $750 out of their own pocket every year for school supplies," says Christopher Pearsall from DonorsChoose. "We're really excited to work with Abbott Elementary. The show showcases both the joys and struggles of being a teacher today. It's really personal for Quinta and she has been a great advocate for our teachers."

For Graham, this boost will really make a difference for her kids and in her personal life.

"You can definitely ask any of our spouses and they'll tell you how much we spend on classroom and science projects and other things to make sure that our kids are learning and having fun," Graham says.

"It's great to have places like DonorsChoose and Abbott Elementary spotlighting us so that we can get what we need other than what the schools provide."

The school is also thrilled for the recognition of a teacher they say always goes above and beyond.

"She always has outside-of-the-box ideas," says Dan Mina, the principal of Dunbar Elementary School. "The other thing that stands out about Mrs. Graham is that she always involves the students in the decision-making. We know it's going to go to good use because the kids are going to tell us how to use it."

Click here for more on DonorsChoose and how you can join Abbott Elementary in helping local teachers.

Abbott Elementary airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on 6abc.