In his role as Coach Billy Baker in The CW’s show All American, actor Taye Diggs helps promising young athletes reach their full potential and follow their dreams. In real life, the dedicated father, author and teacher wants to make those same dreams a reality for children across the country who will be returning to school this fall without the adequate school supplies and tools to set them up for a productive and successful school year. On average, dedicated teachers spend $740 of their own money to provide supplies for their classrooms and students. More than two-thirds of all classroom supplies are purchased by teachers for students whose families cannot afford adequate school supplies.

To address this startling trend, Diggs has teamed up with Burlington in support of a charity initiative,, now in its third year of operation. On July 16, Burlington Stores, and Taye Diggs were joined by the New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza to surprise teachers spanning the six Manhattan school districts with a $100,000 school supply donation. This is the largest one-time donation that the retailer has made to-date through this program. From now until August 17, Diggs is asking for support for this cause — simply visit any Burlington store and donate as little as $1 to help raise funds for this back-to-school initiative.

In this BET interview, Diggs explained why this project is so special to him, reminisced on his own school days as well as some well-loved characters he’s played whose education inside the classroom and in the school of life have made some of our most beloved movies memorable.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 16: New York City Department of Education Office of Arts and Special Projects executive director Paul King (L), Taye Diggs (C), New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza (4th R), and students at the 2019 Annual Donation Drive on July 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Taye Diggs: It’s near and dear to my heart because arts and education and educators have played a major role in my growing up and into who I am as a performer and person and adult male today. Growing up, my mother always emphasized education. She was an educator herself, my sister is a teacher, I teach whenever I have the opportunity just because it has influenced me in such a positive way that now, given the opportunity, any chance I get I want to support drives such as this. My sister made known to me recently that a lot of teachers across the nation have had to go into their own pockets to provide supplies for their classrooms, and that’s something that unfortunately… that has to stop, so I’m partnering with Burlington and we’re trying to raise awareness and funds. We’re trying to get out there that all people have to do is go to the nearest Burlington store and donate at least a dollar, and it can help get these students the supplies that they need so that they can continue their much-needed education.

Source: BET News