Former First Lady Michelle Obama teamed up with Ellen Degeneres for a huge, holiday surprise. The author of Becoming and the popular daytime talk show host surprised a southeast D.C. elementary school with a new Apple computer lab and a $100,000 donation.
“I had so much fun putting a smile on all of these little faces from Randle Highlands Elementary School in Washington, D.C.,” Obama tweeted on Tuesday night. “Thanks to the @TheEllenShow for letting me be a part of #EllensGreatestNight!”
The surprise was caught on camera for a segment of DeGeneres’s “Greatest Night of Giveaways” which can be viewed on the NBC app, and was made possible by tech giant Apple. In addition to supplying the students with a computer room, they also received iPads, the teachers received laptops, and the school is getting a brand new basketball court.
According to school Principal Kristie Edwards, 65 percent of Randle Highlands students are either in the foster care system or homeless, but says, “they expect the same thing — and that’s to get love, hugs, and to ensure that they’re in a safe space.”
Edwards and the school’s staff have made sure to deliver on that, by offering a cooking club, providing washer and dryer access, distributing free lunch to the 350 students, and even dipping into their own pockets at times to buy groceries for students and their families. Obama and DeGeneres were there to acknowledge the work they’ve been doing and offer a helping hand to make sure they no longer have to use their own funds.
“When I look out at all of you I see a room full of future doctors and teachers and engineers and presidents,” Obama told the students. “And I want to make sure you have the tools you need right now to help make that happen.”
Obama is currently overseas on a tour of Southeast Asia where she is meeting with leaders to offer insight on how they too can help change the world.