Boris Kodjoe , Nicole Ari Parker, and Chilli visit Spelman

Left to right: MSNBC Contributor and Executive Editor Jeff Johnson; actress Nicole Ari Parker; BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” star Boris Kodjoe; Grammy Award-Winning Artist Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas; Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum; and Box Tops for Education Brand Manager Tommy Hillman

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Hundreds of parents, educators, community organizers and local celebrities rallied together inside the Cosby Auditorium of Spelman College as a call-to-action to improve parental involvement in their child’s education. The Box Tops for Education Town Hall, sponsored by Walmart and Honey Nut Cheerios®, and presented by BET Networks, took place January 24, 2013 and will premiere via webcast on Monday, February 4.

Viewers can visit to access the webcast and watch as MSNBC contributor and executive editor of Jeff Johnson moderate a rousing discussion among panelists, including Spelman College president Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, and Box Tops for Education brand manager Tommy Hillman shared a broad perspective on how a child’s academic success benefits our society. BET’s “Real Husbands of Hollywood” star Boris Kodjoe and his wife, actress Nicole Ari Parker, and Grammy Award-Winning artist and mom Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, also shared anecdotes about innovative ways of educating their children.

“When my son gets good grades, I get animated. I get excited,” said Chilli. “And when I’m excited, he gets excited. I’ll take him somewhere during the weekend to hang out. We have to make them work for it.”

Johnson added, “What young people need to see is us not talking about education, but us walking education,” for which garnered a round of applause. “We show up for sports events at school, but not for science events.”

Audience members were eager to jump into the conversation sparking passionate dialogues about their personal challenges while CNN’s “Raising America with Kyra Phillips” correspondents and Box Tops bloggers Black and Married with Kids posed questions to the panel from their twitter feed after the panel discussion.

Box Tops for Education and the National Urban League have joined forces to drive parental engagement in their child’s educational journey with the Educational Success Toolkit, which contains resources such as back to school preparation tips, parent-teacher conference guidelines and a college preparation checklist. Parents can access the toolkit via the following link:

Box Tops for Education was designed to help combat some of the budget challenges many of our nation’s schools are facing by creating an easy way for community members to support schools without having to spend extra money. Since 1996, schools nationwide have earned more than $525 million through the Box Tops for Education program, including $47 million just since March 2012. Schools can earn up to $20,000 a year from the program.

For more information about Box Tops for Education and the Town Hall event, please visit: This site will provide access to the Town Hall webcast airing on February 4, 2013, and the Educational Success Toolkit, a resource developed by the National Urban League and Box Tops to support parents in being active in their children’s educational journey.

Photos: Kenisha Ellis, Liquid Soul Media

About Box Tops for Education
America’s schools have earned more than $525 million through the Box Tops for Education® program since the program started in 1996, including $47 million just since March 2012. More than 90,000 schools use that cash to purchase items such as computers, library books, art supplies and playground equipment. Schools can earn up to $20,000 by clipping Box Tops coupons from 240 products and can earn eBoxTops by shopping online through the Box Tops Marketplace. To learn more and for a list of participating products, visit


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