When Colbert saw a wish list of hundreds of teachers from his home state, he delivered.

Stephen Colbert became a hero of political satire for fans all over the country. But his latest act of badassery has made him a hero to a bunch of kids.

Stephen Colbert is a badass.

His show, "The Colbert Report," ran strong for nine years, earning him a pile of awards, a multi-generational cult following and the chance to take over "The Late Show" when David Letterman retired in 2015. Like I said, he's a badass.


Image via "The Late Show with David Letterman."

While he's between gigs, Colbert has mostly kept all that badassery out of the public eye. But then I heard about this:

GIF via GreenvilleOnline.

In a live-streamed announcement to Alexander Elementary School in Greenville, South Carolina, Colbert had happy news to share.

"I am happy to say that as a product of the South Carolina public school system ... using the proceeds from the sale of my old set on 'The Colbert Report' that we auctioned off, and with generous matching funds from the Morgridge Family Foundation and ScanSource, DonorsChoose is going to flash fund all 1,000 projects in South Carolina."

DonorsChoose is a charity crowdfunding site for "classrooms in need." Teachers from schools with tight budgets can use the site to generate funds for the supplies they need to offer the best education they can to their students.

Hundreds of South Carolina teachers posted thousands of project requests totaling $800,000.

Their needs ranged from books for girls to exercise equipment for special-needs students to custom tables and other items that would make a big difference for South Carolina's cash-strapped public schools.

Colbert, who grew up in South Carolina, wanted to see every one of their goals for the year fulfilled.

GIF from "The Colbert Report."

And with the support of a few big sponsors, he raised enough money to meet the funding goals of every outstanding grant request posted by a South Carolina teacher on DonorsChoose this year.

I know what you're thinking: This is great. Stephen Colbert is such a badass.

And that's exactly how I feel about it. But a little context really accentuates the greatness of Colbert's initiative.

South Carolina has one of the lowest-ranked public school systems in the U.S.

According to WalletHub, the South Carolina public school system ranks 42nd (out of 51) in overall performance, which takes into account factors like drop-out rates, teacher-to-student ratios, test scores, graduates' likelihood of completing a college degree, and even reported incidents of bullying.

Image via WalletHub.

And the state isn't making the investments it needs to step up its public education game.

WalletHub ranks South Carolina 36th in K-12 public school spending.

Image via WalletHub.

South Carolina would be wise to change that — as would every other low-performing state when it comes to education.

According to the Economic Policy Institute:

"States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do."

Hopefully they'll figure it out. But meanwhile, send your digital high-fives to Stephen Colbert for being one badass of a do-gooder.

GIF via "The Colbert Report."

Most Shared

On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

Staff were instructed to be extra polite to brown-eyed people and to discriminate against blue-eyed people. Her guest for that day's show was diversity expert Jane Elliott, who helped set up the experiment and played along, explaining that brown-eyed people were smarter than blue-eyed people.

Watch the video to see how this experiment plays out.

Oprah's Social Experiment on Her Audience www.youtube.com

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Cadbury has removed the words from its Dairy Milk chocolate bars in the U.K. to draw attention to a serious issue, senior loneliness.

On September 4, Cadbury released the limited-edition candy bars in supermarkets and for every one sold, the candy giant will donate 30p (37 cents) to Age UK, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for the elderly.

Cadbury was prompted to help the organization after it was revealed that 225,000 elderly people in the UK often go an entire week without speaking to another person.

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Young people today are facing what seems to be greater exposure to complex issues like mental health, bullying, and youth violence. As a result, teachers are required to be well-versed in far more than school curriculum to ensure students are prepared to face the world inside and outside of the classroom. Acting as more than teachers, but also mentors, counselors, and cheerleaders, they must be equipped with practical and relevant resources to help their students navigate some of the more complicated social issues – though access to such tools isn't always guaranteed.

Take Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, for example, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years, and as a teacher for seven. Entering the profession, she didn't anticipate how much influence a student's home life could affect her classroom, including "students who lived in foster homes" and "lacked parental support."

Dr. Jackie Sanderlin, who's worked in the education system for over 25 years.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

So what resources do teachers turn to in an increasingly fractured world? "Joining a professional learning network that supports and challenges thinking is one of the most impactful things that a teacher can do to support their own learning," Anglemyer says.

Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience.

A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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One of the major differences between women and men is that women are often judged based on their looks rather than their character or abilities.

"Men as well as women tend to establish the worth of individual women primarily by the way their body looks, research shows. We do not do this when we evaluate men," Naomi Ellemers Ph.D. wrote in Psychology Today.

Dr. Ellers believes that this tendency to judge a woman solely on her looks causes them to be seen as an object rather than a person.

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