Off the court, the Utah Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell tipped off the next quarter of his life with a vow to aid teachers this school year. The newly 25-year-old basketball star credits his mother, Nicole Mitchell, with demonstrating to him the importance of educators, a demographic he calls undervalued and underpaid.
“There’s so many life lessons that we learn in school through teachers in the classroom that we don’t really show appreciation to,” the NBA All-Star told The Knockturnal.
Each year, teachers commit their own finances to fund classroom supplies. A Clorox survey discovered their average out-of-pocket expense to be $500. In underserved areas, expenses went up to about $636. Sixty-eight percent of those polled also told the cleaning giant that as a result of short supplies throughout the academic year, they were used to altering lesson plans.
With the COVID-19 pandemic still afoot, the monetary sacrifices educators make this year combine with the need to accommodate atypical classroom settings. All over the nation, teachers are manufacturing remote and modified in-person curriculums and routines—built with innovation and limiting transmission of the virus.
This dedication is why Clorox dubs school faculties as “superheroes.” In the company’s second year of its back-to-school initiative, it will offer $1 million towards teachers’ wishlists including tools to both clean and learn. Additionally, the public can nominate teachers in need of such funding via the Clorox website.
So far, the campaign has drawn the attention of NBA Hall-of-Famer Dominique Wilkins and active player Donovan Mitchell.
In an exclusive interview with the Knockturnal, Mitchell joked about what it would be like if his Utah Jazz and teammates were teachers. But his commitment to education is far from a joke. Mitchell himself watched his mother rise to the occasion as a teacher during the pandemic. And even growing up, Nicole Mitchell equipped him with an admiration further field that he continues to pass on.
He is also adamant about helping the next generation. And his efforts have led students to gain access to everything from wifi to crayons, food to masks. In partnership with Clorox, the Mitchells stepped in with donations towards academic facilities all over the nation. The NBA player and the league’s official cleaning partner are using DonorsChoose to match donations towards the projects of public school teachers. As of today, over 2,000 educators have been benefited from the campaign.