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Box Tops for Education and Walmart Team Up with the LeBron James Family Foundation to Elevate Racial Equity in Education in a New Digital Series

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Business Wire
Aug 20, 2021
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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 by highlighting the many ways diverse educators and school support staff can improve students’ outcomes and education. The program, called “The Best Year Starts Here,” will debut in August and feature three different teachers of color, showing their impact in the classroom through the eyes of their students and mentors. The program will also demonstrate simple ways viewers can get involved by highlighting the new Box Tops for Education app feature that enables supporters to direct funds to schools in need. In addition, as part of its long partnership with Box Tops, Walmart will leverage its digital and in-store footprint to drive excitement and awareness of the program and increase the redemption of Box Tops.

“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,” said LeBron James. “For my Foundation and our work in education, we’ve made this a priority in everything we do because we know how important it is to helping students and families stay engaged. We’re excited to help share what we’ve learned and tell this story alongside Box Tops for Education and Walmart.”

This partnership builds upon the plans by Box Tops for Education in conjunction with Black Men Teach Twin Cities to bring attention to the impact and need for more teachers of color in Minneapolis area classrooms. This is another step in the program’s journey of understanding the inequities that exist in education and identifying ways to create sustained change.

In addition to the new partnership, Box Tops for Education is introducing a new in-app feature to build on its commitment to equity in education and drive impact beyond Minneapolis. The Box Tops for Education app now has functionality that enables participants to find and direct Box Tops earnings to schools+in+need. All participants will be able to continue supporting their eligible and enrolled school of choice, however the new update will give supporters the option to direct their funds to schools that may need extra help. Through this app enhancement and with the help of the community, Box Tops for Education hopes to increase funding for schools in need and help improve educational experiences for more students.

“Since its inception in 1996, Box Tops has always been about helping schools enhance the educational experience with extra funding, but we realized there was an opportunity for the platform to do even more,” said Lilly Moeding, brand experience manager, Box Tops for Education. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to take our equity and inclusion efforts even further by partnering with Walmart and the LeBron James Family Foundation. We are eager to share stories of extraordinary teachers who are statistically underrepresented to demonstrate the incredible impact they’re having on students and find new avenues to make a difference in communities across the country.”

As the largest retailer in the United States, Walmart serves as an integral part of the back-to-school season for many communities. Walmart will be supporting shoppers as they prepare for the Back-to-School season with in-store events and opportunities to download the Box Tops for Education app to earn cash for their schools. Throughout the season, simply scan the QR code on specially marked “The Best Year Starts Here” packages at Walmart to get started.

“We are excited to work with General Mills and the LeBron James Family Foundation to drive awareness of the educational inequities that exist and support schools in need through Box Tops for Education,” said Rich Lahrfeld, SVP and GM, Walmart Connect. “We built a custom campaign for General Mills that will inspire and engage our customers to support their school of choice during this back-to-school season.”

Walmart will be leveraging its One Walmart approach across the country to inspire customers and increase participation in the “The Best Year Starts Here” program during this critical season for families and schools.

About Box Tops for Education
America's K-8 schools have earned more than $940 million through the Box Tops for Education® program since it was founded by General Mills in 1996. More than 80,000 schools use that cash to purchase items such as computers, library books, art supplies, playground equipment and more.

To learn more visit btfe.com.

About General Mills
General Mills is a leading global food company whose purpose is to make food the world loves. Its brands include Cheerios, Annie's, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Häagen-Dazs, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Old El Paso, Wanchai Ferry, Yoki, BLUE and more. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, General Mills generated fiscal 2020 net sales of U.S. $17.6 billion. In addition, General Mills’ share of non-consolidated joint venture net sales totaled U.S. $1.0 billion.

About the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF)/IPromise
With its foundational I PROMISE Program, LJFF serves more than 1,500 students and their entire families by providing them with the fundamental resources, wraparound supports and family programming they need for success in school and beyond. In 2018, the Foundation partnered with Akron Public Schools to build all of its family-first programming and academic interventions into the groundbreaking I PROMISE School that has created a new model for urban, public education. The Foundation has layered in additional supports including higher education and family supports at the I PROMISE Institute, transitional housing at the I PROMISE Village, longer-term housing at the upcoming I PROMISE Housing, job training, financial health and community gathering at House Three Thirty, and several hands-on supports in between. These life-changing resources, combined with the Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy are re-defining what a family and community looks like.

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