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Oprah Winfrey donates $5 million to the Ron Clark Academy

On Friday, the school celebrated its tenth anniversary - and some big names were in town to help commemorate the occasion.

Oprah made an appearance in Atlanta on Friday to celebrate the Ron Clark Academy’s tenth anniversary – and make a major donation to the nonprofit middle school.

The highlight of the evening was when the media mogul gave $5 million to the school. 11Alive got the chance to speak with Oprah about why the school is so close to her heart.

A little bit of everything happened on Friday night as the school, its students and supporters celebrated a major milestone – its tenth year. A major supporter in that group was Oprah herself who believes that the school and students there are going to change the world.

“The reason why I am here, I’m giving up my time for free to be here – to support them – is to say, ‘Bravo, keep doing it’,” she said. “Because there is not a better school, organization, institution in the USA.”

The school also launched a new campaign – a $15 million campaign to allow The Ron Clark Academy to continue its efforts to change the world by educating more educators.

Toward that goal, Mayor Kasim Reed pledged $20,000 authorized by the city for Ron Clark Academy.

It was a showing of enthusiasm for a school with students who are on the road to taking on big roles in the world.

Four of those students spoke with 11Alive as we met with Oprah and they were so excited – not only about meeting Oprah but just about the excitement of their school.

“It’s like this is my school and I love when people say great things about my school,” one student said.

There is no telling what these kids will do next but the sky is the limit and it was clear at Friday’s celebration that the future is in good hands.

Over the years, the school has been praised for the way it educates its students with academic rigor, passion, and creativity. In 2014, the school was the recipient of an 11Alive Community Service Award.


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2014 CSA Beneficiary: The Ron Clark Academy