Stephen Colbert just paid for all of South Carolina’s teacher grant requests

Stephen ColbertThis is the face of a mensch.

Know how Stephen Colbert celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week? Colbert, who dwells in Montclair, just helped out South Carolina’s public schools to the tune of $800,000 by funding every SC teacher’s crowdsourced grant. That’s every grant request filed by a SC teacher at (he’s on the board). Almost 1,000 projects, more than 375 schools, written by more than 800 teachers.

“Enjoy the learnin’, South Carolina!”

   – Colbert, in live video feed to teachers & students at Alexander Elementary School, Greenville

Hard not to compare what Colbert did with what Mark Zuckerberg did. Colbert announced his gift in a live video feed to a Greenville elementary school – to kids & teachers. Zuck announced his on Oprah at the height of her popularity (and right after the release of The Social Network which was none-too flattering), with (then) rising stars Chris Christie and Cory Booker helping Oprah fawn over him. And Colbert’s gift goes toward things teachers notice kids need – new books, computers, teacher development, field trips. Zuck’s gift was put toward the high-minded but ultimately destructive effort to dismantle Newark public ed and fork over the pieces to private tycoons.

Five months ago, Cobert retired his eagle-loving persona on Comedy Central and raised part of the money for his gift to SC public ed by auctioning off The Colbert Report‘s set; there were also matching funds from 2 other orgs.

Colbert was once a student in South Carolina public schools. He takes over The Late Show from David Letterman in September.  

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