Remember this political kids spin-off of TI’s Whatever You Like”…
Well, allow me to refresh your memory on who they are… The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta got the attention of the nation when that video of its students performing an election rap they wrote appeared on YouTube and from there live appearances on CNN and BET. Teachers at the school are known to use rapping, dancing and drumming to help students learn. Headmaster Clark, who taught in one of New York City’s toughest schools and wrote the best-selling teaching book The Essential 55, opened the innovative private school in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods in 2007 school last year with proceeds from his book and private donations.
Clark has appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” twice — once when he was named Disney American Teacher of the Year in 2000. Nearly all of its 80 students are from middle- and low-income households and parents pay a small part of the tuition and the rest is paid by donors. The approximate cost to educate each student is a whopping $14,000. Sounds like a pretty penny right? WRONG when you got the Mighty O on your side! Read details on the story after the jump…
Oprah Winfrey (2008’s most powerful woman in entertainment) gifted the school $365,000!! The check was issued by the Oprah Winfrey Foundation, which gave $4 million to educational programs in 2008 alone!
“We teach school all day and fundraise at night,” said Clark, “to have an unsolicited gift come like that is incredible.”
“Everything they learn is enhanced because of the teachers’ dedication and creativity,” said a tearful Gloria Nesmith, whose son, Cameron, is a fifth-grader at the academy. “And Oprah noticed. I’m just overwhelmed.”
When Clark shared the news with the school community, the children, parents and teachers reportedly erupted in deafening cheers and some even cried. The donation will likely go to one-year scholarships to pay for roughly 26 children! In a letter that accompanied the check, Winfrey calls Clark a role model and applauds the “profound difference you’re making with your passion for teaching.”