Friday, January 02, 2009


According to Access Hollywood, Oprah Winfrey gave the ultimate Christmas gift last week when she mailed a letter to Atlanta educator Ron Clark of the Ron Clark Academy. Clark was ecsatic just to receive the letter so you can only imagine he was overjoyed when he noticed the check that was sticking out of the envelope with the hefty sum of $365,000.
Clark runs a very innovative private school in one of Atlanta's poorest neighborhoods in 2007 that is funded primarily by donors. Therefore Lady O's donation was a much needed gift. “We teach school all day and fundraise at night,” said Clark, who finds private donors to pay most of the $14,000 annual tuition for each student. “To have an unsolicited gift come like that is incredible.”

Clark surprised his students with the news of the donation Wednesday morning in a gathering at the south Atlanta school. The children, parents and teachers erupted in deafening cheers when he showed off the check. Several cried at the news.

The donation, which likely will go to scholarships for students, would pay for 26 children to attend the school for one year, Clark said. The 80-student middle school depends almost entirely on donations to operate.
Clark, who taught in one of New York City’s toughest schools and wrote the best-selling teaching book “The Essential 55,” opened the school last year with proceeds from his book and private donations.
Clark and his staff frequently use rapping, dancing, and drumming to help students learn and became an overnight sensation when their political rap version of T.I.'s song "Whatever You Like" called "Vote However U Like" gained a wealth of attention on Youtube and when they appeared on national TV shows including BET and CNN. Check out the video below.