Oprah Winfrey donates $5 million to the Ron Clark Academy
Award-winning Philanthropist Honors Institution for a Decade of Inspiring Educators
ATLANTA (November 6, 2017) – On Friday, November 3, 2017, the Ron Clark Academy held a “Celebration Extravaganza” hosted by Oprah Winfrey. The event marked the 10-year anniversary of the innovative institution founded by Ron Clark and Kim Bearden, former winners of the Disney American Teacher-of-the-Year Award.
After a night consisting of special guest appearances, musical renditions, and visual testimonies, the peak of the evening was when Oprah announced her donation of $5 million towards the school’s $15 million dollar capital campaign. The campaign is centered on the creation of the Ryan Marshall Performing Arts Center, a 32,000 square foot multi-purpose facility that will help the school train 150,000 teachers over the next 10 years.
“We are extremely honored that Oprah Winfrey served as the host for our anniversary event,” said Ron Clark. “What better way to commemorate this special time in our history than with an electric, fun-filled evening that truly harnesses the energy, love, and passion for learning that our staff, students, and visiting educators have generated over the past decade.”
Throughout the evening, several organizations announced big gifts to the capital campaign including $750,000 from the Georgia Power Foundation, $500,000 from the Coca-Cola Foundation, $500,000 from BB&T, and $1.5 million from NanoLumens.
In addition to being a highly-acclaimed middle school, the Academy is an educator training facility. Since 2007, over 46,000 teachers, administrators, and superintendents have participated in the school’s professional development programs to learn how to replicate its philosophy and student engagement model in their own schools. Those educators have then returned to their classrooms and then impacted the lives of over 10 million students around the world.