ATLANTA – A letter from Oprah Winfrey last week seemed like the world's best Christmas present — until teacher Ron Clark noticed an extra piece of paper flutter out of the envelope.
That's when the Atlanta educator saw the $365,000 check for the innovative private school he opened in one of the city's poorest neighborhoods in 2007. It was, quite literally, an answer to a prayer.
"We teach school all day and fundraise at night," said Clark, who finds private donors to pay most of the $14,000 annual tuition for each student. "To have an unsolicited gift come like that is incredible."
Clark surprised his students with the news of the donation Wednesday morning in a gathering at the south Atlanta school. The children, parents and teachers erupted in deafening cheers when he showed off the check.