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Ellen Degeneres surprises McAuliffe Elementary librarian Kirby Thomas with $25,000 check

Posted at 12:33 PM, Feb 20, 2014
and last updated 2016-05-06 17:47:28-04

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - Ellen Degenres surprised McAuliffe Elementary Librarian Kirby Thomas Wednesday at school with a check for $25,000, a van, and Target gift cards for her students.

Kirby works for the Title 1 school as librarian and media specialist and, along with Amanda Griffin and other teachers, has started a summer reading initiative, Mobile Media. The organization provides books throughout the McAuliffe low-income neighborhoods.

Ellen found out that the van Kirby uses for Mobile Media doesn't have the capacity to hold the number of books needed, so she surprised Kirby with a new, personalized van filled with books and iPad mins. The van even has a seating area. donated $25,000 to purchase more books. Ellen also surprised Kirby with 711 $25 Target gift cards, one for each McAuliffe student, for school supplies. 

"We are so excited!  We are still living in a dream," Kirby told 2NEWS.  "I am very thankful."