Abbott Elementary is bringing Scholastic book fairs to underfunded schools

A case of life imitating art that we love to see.

ABC/Gilles Mingasson

There’s nothing quite like the Scholastic book fair coming to shake up a school day when you’re a kid. Class ends early just so you can all go to this nerdy little faux mall and geek out about books and reading-adjacent toys. But many schools are unable to afford those learning tools and provide that excitement to young students, as public education is increasingly underfunded and underrepresented in political causes. Fortunately, one hit TV show is leading by example. After the success of ABC’s Abbott Elementary, ABC has partnered with Scholastic to provide book fairs to struggling schools, Variety reports.

It’s a perfect partnership, considering that Abbott Elementary is a comedy about an underfunded school and the lengths the teachers take to serve their students. The pilot alone goes into the teachers’ struggle just to get new rugs for their classrooms when the city prioritizes funding a new stadium for the Philadelphia Eagles (where the show takes place) over public education. It doesn’t sound like a plot that’s ripe for comedy, but much like the magic of Parks and Recreation, the show finds a way to inject hilarity into the mundane world of public service.

The Scholastic fairs will take place March 14-18 at seven Title I schools, including Harrity Elementary, which is where the show’s star and creator Quinta Brunson attended as a child. The other schools included are Diehl Elementary in Erie, Pa., Bond Elementary in Chicago, Dayton’s Bluff Elementary in Minneapolis, Freeman Elementary in Flint, Mich., and Cortada Elementary and Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary in Los Angeles. At each fair, every student will receive two books and every teacher will receive ten. ABC is also sponsoring a Traveling Teachers Lounge which provides teachers with books, supplies, breakfast, and Abbott Elementary merchandise on each stop.

Erin Weir, executive vice president of marketing for ABC & General Entertainment told Variety, “Abbott Elementary shines light on and reflects the experiences and challenges faced by our country’s educators. ... We had an extraordinary opportunity and responsibility to amplify that mission in our series marketing efforts. Giving back to this deserving community has been a pillar of our campaign from day one, and thanks to several incredible partnerships, like our collaboration with Scholastic, we’ve had the great fortune of celebrating teachers through supply donations, grassroots activations, and more, while also sharing the joy of our hilarious new comedy.”