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NEW ORLEANS -- The Rex organization opened up its den on Saturday to honor New Orleans teachers and to hand out hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants.

Rex created the Pro Bono Publica Foundation after Hurricane Katrina to support local education initiatives.

On Saturday they handed out $525,000 in grants, with some of the money going to Teach for America, which plays a big role in many of New Orleans' charter schools.

'It's just a way that the Rex organization can say thank you to these wonderful young children who are graduating with lots of opportunities around the country and around the world but instead they elect to come to New Orleans to educate our children,' said Storey Charbonnet, a spokesman for the Pro Bono Publica Foundation.

In all, 31 different education groups and initiatives benefited from this year's grants.

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