- Former US First Lady Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres have donated R14 million to a Washington DC elementary school
- Randle Highlands Elementary is a struggling school and considered economically disadvantaged with nearly 65% of the students either homeless or in foster care
- Michelle Obama and Ellen DeGeneres also donated a basketball court, laptops and other items
Former US First Lady Michelle Obama recently partnered with Ellen DeGeneres to surprise a Washington DC elementary school with R14 million.
The gift was a part of ''Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways,'' a holiday initiative started by DeGeneres to '' deliver life-changing gifts to unsuspecting, everyday people,'' with the hopes of spreading holiday cheer.
Obama visited Randle Highlands to deliver them a special gift at the elementary school in Washington D.C.
The entire student body is considered economically disadvantaged as nearly 65% of the students are either homeless or in foster care.
Many of the teachers at the school support students, paying for school supplies out of their own pockets, using school laundry machines to wash clothes and sending students home with dinner, among other things.
Kristie Edwards, principal of Randle Highlands, spoke about the school’s population and plight. ''We actually sit on the hill in Southeast D.C. It’s considered one of the roughest areas in D.C. My teachers really do go above and beyond.
"We’ve seen teachers take families to the grocery store and buy groceries for the families. Everything is about how we can make things better for our students,'' Edwards said.
Despite the circumstances, Edwards and her staff make sure that the school is a safe place for the students and somewhere they feel welcome.
Ellen and Michelle took notice of how attentive staff are to the students at Randle Highlands and made up their minds that they were going to reward them for it.
DeGeneres spoke to students and asked them to share their favourite things about the teachers at Randle Highlands.
''My favourite thing about my teachers is that they all take time to have fun and learning at the same time,'' one student said. ''I like my teachers because they never give up on me,'' another student added.
DeGeneres donated R14 million to the school, a brand new basketball court, new computers and laptops for teachers and iPads for every student. Obama delivered the news to the students in person.
''Ellen is giving you guys $100,000 (R14.5 million) to help you cover whatever expenses that you have for the school, whether it’s the food pantry, or whether it’s computer programmes, we hope that this will make sure that you won’t have to go into your pockets any longer for these kids,'' Obama told teachers as emotions ran high.
Obama took to social media to share her excitement about the surprise.
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