KU’s Michael Brooks adds up hits, money raised for Lawrence teachers

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 10:50 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Michael Brooks knew when he transferred to Kansas baseball that he wanted to do something for Lawrence public schools, thus creating the “Hits for Teachers” initiative.

For every hit he records at bat this season, he’ll donate $20 to the Lawrence Schools Foundation. 13 Sports first talked with Brooks about the initiative in April, and now that the season is over, he’s got his grand total.

“Growing up in a family where my mom was a teacher basically her whole career, and just the struggle that they go through back home in South Florida. It just felt like I could do something positive for the community here in Lawrence,” said Brooks.

With 59 hits recorded, he’s donating $1,180 to Lawrence public schools.

“I wasn’t really expecting it but I’m really glad it did go that high.”

It took a little while for his hits to really start falling, but once they did, and word of Brooks’ kindness spread around town, it began to inspire others.

“I mean I’ve had some people that want to match it, my grandparents want to donate some money to me too,” he said.

The foundation and community are nothing short of thrilled.

“We’ve been in awe. Not only to see the work that he’s done in his donations, but the ripple effect throughout the community,” said Lawrence Schools Foundation Executive Director Dena Johnston.

“As a college student, college athlete, wanting to donate to a local school district where he didn’t attend but still wanted to invest in his local community, I thought it was an awesome gesture on his part,” said Lawrence Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis.

About a month ago, they even came to Hoglund Ballpark and decorated the dugout with drawings from kids in the district.

“I had no idea that was going on, and I walked out here for practice and all the signs were up and I’m just like ‘Thanks for telling me,” said Brooks with a laugh. “But it was awesome, I know that was, just seeing all those smiles on everybody’s faces.”

They’ve already got five people pledging to match Brooks’ donation.

“Almost $5,000 and growing,” said Johnston. “And we still have community donors that reach out and want to match the impact that he’s made, so it’s been tremendous.”

Brooks said he plans to bring Hits for Teachers back for future seasons.

“It was in the making, but it wasn’t anything big until the season started,” he said. “Just going out there and having fun playing baseball honestly.”

The money will go towards books, supplies, and teacher grants.