Minneapolis schools get boost from MN native and NFL star Larry Fitzgerald - Bring Me The News

Minneapolis schools get boost from MN native and NFL star Larry Fitzgerald

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That's a thank you letter from a class at Hmong International Academy, addressed to Minnesota native and NFL superstar Larry Fitzgerald Jr.

The reason? Fitzgerald helped them buy some much-needed supplies.

Fitzgerald is a star wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals – but grew up in Minnesota, serving as a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings and playing football for Holy Angels High School in Richfield. He's still pretty active back in his home state.

And as part of the #BestSchoolDay campaign (organized by DonorsChoose.org to benefit public school classrooms and teachers), he donated funds so the class could get a color printer, a couple specialized games, and an iPad accessory.

"We were very grateful when we heard that the project had been funded so quickly," Katherine Tellander (who posted the thank you note) told BringMeTheNews via email. "It was only live a few days, as many projects take weeks or months to be fully funded."

So what is #BestSchoolDay?

The founder calls it a "philanthropic flash mob," with more than 50 well-known names giving $14 million to 1,000 requests from public school workers – and asking others to pitch in where they can.

DonorsChoose says it collects all the requests and let's you search through them, then when it's fully funded buys the items and ships them to the school. The classroom then sends a thank you note to explain how the money as used.

Tellander says they came across DonorsChoose.org as a way to fund materials that can be expensive – and left to educators to pay for out of pocket. But instead, they got a note this week saying Fitzgerald had funded everything they asked for.

"We care so much about all of our students and when donors like Larry give back to the community, it makes all the difference in the world," Tellander said.

How it'll help the classroom

 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, after a game in November of 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver, after a game in November of 2015. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Tellander is an intervener in the classroom with teacher Carolynne Schmidt and three special education assistants. They oversee nine students with special needs, ranging in age from kindergarten to second grade.

She said the color printer funded by Fitzgerald will let them print worksheets in a way that they can be used by a student who has vision issues. It means they can also print out daily schedules for the kids. They'll also get two games that can be hooked up to a small box or circle that the students can simply touch to make the game start or stop.

"This is great for our students who have poor motor skills and aren't able to manipulate tiny objects. This also allows them to take turns and work together in groups," Tellander said.

Their classroom isn't the only one to benefit from Fitzgerald. He apparently took care of what was needed to cover everything left on the Minneapolis schools' with lists.

The Star Tribune says Fitzgerald funded a total of 58 requests from 20 different schools, totaling nearly $51,000. There are now zero results when you search for projects in Minneapolis.

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