For a second consecutive year, Common and his mother, Dr. Mahalia Hines, a 35-year educator, join Burlington and AdoptAClassroom.org to help teachers and students get the classroom materials they need to succeed. We recently caught up with him to tell us about some of his favorite teachers and why this campaign is so close to his heart.
You mentioned that Mr. Brown was your favorite teacher. Can you share some great memories and how he shaped your future?
Yes. He shaped me by being a shining example of a good human being. He cared beyond academics, and he was a great resource when it came to learning what it is to be a black man. I remember one of the things he would do to help us become better people. When we would get in trouble, instead of punishing us with detention, he would make us write down formulas. For example: write the formula for the area of a square.
You mentioned that math and English were your favorite subjects. Did you have an English teacher that made an impact on your career?
My English teacher was Ms. Lynn. She impacted my career very much because she made it clear that we needed to study great American writers from Baldwin, Langston Hughes, and Maya Angelou to Hemingway and Edgar Allen Poe. That was one thing that was unique about her – we learned about black history.
This is your second year supporting AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington’s back-to-school partnership. Why are you excited to join the campaign again this year?
Last year I saw firsthand the impact that AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington had on a school when I had the opportunity to help Burlington donate $10,000 to provide students and teachers with the resources and supplies they need. I really wanted to do my part to help again, as no teacher should have to reach into his or her own pockets to ensure students can learn and grow. This year, we adopted P.S. 111 in NYC, and spending time with the teachers and students was such a great reminder about the importance of supporting our schools.
I’ve always been a strong advocate for education thanks to my mother, who has been in the Chicago school system for more than 35 years. Teachers have the ability to change the lives of so many students, and it’s so important that we support them. That’s why I’m honored to join AdoptAClassroom.org and Burlington for a second year to help teachers get the supplies they need so their students can succeed.
How can you help?
It’s easy! Simply donate $1 or more now through August 18th at your local Burlington store to support AdoptAClassroom.org.