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Oprah surprises school with $500,000 donation

DONATION: Oprah Winfrey

A SCHOOL in New Jersey received funding from Oprah Winfrey during a surprise visit, after she read about their impressive programme for students.

The billionaire appeared at West Side High School in Newark, where she made the announcement to a packed gymnasium of students. When she appeared, she treated everyone to pizza from her food line O, That’s Good before announcing her %500,000 donation to the school’s While at Light’s On programme.

The principal, Akbar Cook, started the initiative which gives students somewhere safe to hang out and participate in a variety of activities including dancing, basketball, crafting, yoga plus more. A meal is always provided and the programme runs from 6pm to 11pm

On Friday (May 17), Winfrey said she was “moved” by his story and wanted to help the initiative, doing so through the massive donation.

Taking to Facebook, the 65-year-old wrote: “When I saw what Principal Akbar Cook was doing for his students at West Side High School in Newark, NJ, I had to come see what it was all about and share some delicious O, That's Good pizza. Music, games, sports and pizza...great night!."

The media mogul praised Cook’s efforts for the students’ success, saying to him that “we are humbled by you.”

Speaking to NJ.com about the school and Winfrey’s donation, Cook said: “My kids feel like they don’t have anyone, And you [Winfrey] just took time out of your busy schedule to show me and my babies love. I’m floored. I’m truly humbled."

Cook also made headlines recently, after he installed a laundromat inside the school for kids who were being bullied for coming to school with dirty clothing or skipping school because they didn't have any clean clothes.

Speaking to CBS News, Cook said: "I think we really put the microscope on basic needs of kids. Everyone wants the high test scores, everyone wants them to perform well.

"But if the kid doesn't feel confidence in just coming to school, being that person we know they can be, then what are we doing?."

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