NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Oprah Winfrey announced she’s giving $500,000 to an initiative at a New Jersey high school that’s aimed at keeping kids off the streets.
Principal Akbar Cook’s “Lights On” program keeps West Side High School in Newark open on Friday nights from 6 p.m. to midnight. WPVI-TV reports kids can play basketball, shoot pool, play video games or even use a recording studio.
Winfrey’s gift will help the program operate three nights a week over the summer. She told hundreds of cheering students Friday during a surprise visit that she was inspired by “all of the great things that are happening here.”
Cook garnered headlines last fall for installing washing machines so students who couldn’t afford to wash their clothes wouldn’t miss school because they were being bullied for wearing dirty clothes.