The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta was gifted with $365,000 from media mogul Oprah Winfrey last week.
When asked by Clark how she arrived at the denomination of the donation Oprah reportedly told him, “I’m sending $1,000 for every day of the year.”
The Academy made headlines last year when it’s middle schoolers sang their political song “You Can Vote However You Like” at the Coca-Cola Leadership Summit in Atlanta and subsequently performed on various news shows. The song, a remake of rapper T.I.’s hit song “Whatever You Like,” encouraged voter participation in the 2008 presidential election by offering both Democratic and Republican viewpoints
Clark, who has taught schools in rural North Carolina as well as a New York’s inner-city, opened the Academy in mid 2007 in Atlanta using funds from the sales of his two books The Essential 55 and The Excellent 11 and donations. He received the 2001 Disney Teacher of the Year award, appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show twice and has been recognized for his use of music and dance in his teaching methodology. His story was made into a television movie in 2006 with Matthew Perry in the starring role.