Oprah donates $5 million to Ron Clark Academy
ATLANTA - A special guest made an event celebrating Atlanta's Ron Clark Academy's 10th anniversary a night to remember.
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TV and entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey made an appearance to show her support of the nonprofit academy and shocked the audience by announcing she'll be donating $5 million to the middle school.
"You all are doing such great work," Winfrey told the crowd of teachers, parents, and volunteers.
That money will go to building a performing arts academy. So far the school has raised over $7 million from donors for that effort.
This wasn't the first time Winfrey has supported the school. After meeting school founder Ron Clark on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" back in 2001, Winfrey called him one of her all-time favorite teachers.
Winfrey also spoke at the school's first graduation ceremony in 2010.
Last night's event was all about recognizing the impact the academy had on students over the years, as well as the difference its educator training program had on school's nationwide.
School founder Ron Clark said that he wanted to create a "magical place where kids could thrive."
"When you have passion and you have energy, it kind of spreads," Clark said. "And so this school is kinda about digging deep, having energy and trying to uplift others. And when you seek to uplift others you uplift yourself as well."