Quinta Brunson was able to make a difference in the lives of real teachers with her elementary school comedy, Abbott Elementary School.
Brunson, 32, creator and showrunner of the hit ABC sitcom, revealed during a recent interview with NPR Fresh air that she transferred some of her show’s marketing money to donate supplies to teachers.
“We chose to put the marketing money towards teacher supplies,” Brunson said, explaining that the production team and the network agreed to reallocate some of the money. “It’s about being able to make these kinds of decisions that really excite me, things that can really help people materially.”
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Brunson also opened up about the inspiration behind her series, in which she plays a second-grade teacher at a predominantly black school in Philadelphia. She explained to Fresh air that she has close ties to the education system as a teacher’s daughter; the school in Abbott Elementary School is reminiscent of the school where her own mother taught years ago, she says.
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“Despite it getting more difficult, despite the teachers not having all the support they need, despite the kids becoming even more unruly than they have been lately…she loved always work,” Brunson said of her mother. “Beauty is someone who is so resilient for such an underpaid and underappreciated job because he feels fulfilled.”
The comedian – who starred in A dark lady sketch show before creating Abbott Elementary School – also spoke about the special hidden meaning of his show’s name. Brunson said she named the sitcom after a teacher who helped her when she changed schools in sixth grade.
“I was afraid to go into the real world or what I considered the real world at the time, and [Ms. Abbott] just took me under his wing,” she said of the educator, Ms Abbott. “She was an amazing teacher who went all out, making sure her students felt special and were ready for the world.
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Brunson has formed her own special bond with the children she works with on Abbott Elementary School. In an adorable video posted on Twitter On Tuesday, she filmed the actors who played her students on TV saying goodbye to her as the series was put on hiatus.
In the cute clip, which has been viewed over 1.6 million times, some of the kids called her Mrs. Teagues (the name of her Abbott Elementary School character), and said, “See you Monday!”
“Abbott Elementary is on hiatus 😞 to compensate, here’s my favorite video of my kids leaving for the day and not knowing I’m an actress,” Brunson captioned the adorable moment.
Abbott Elementary School airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.