OAK RIDGE, Tenn. -- An airline, a museum, and a school teamed up to give some of the hardest-working young students in Atlanta an early Christmas present.
The children attend Unidos Dual Language Charter School; roughly 4 out of 5 come from economically disadvantaged homes. But every year, thanks to ExpressJet Airlines and school officials, the top performers in Grades 2 through 5 get to take a plane an hour north to visit the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge, Tenn.: their own personal "North Pole".
If the location didn't match, the spirit of the event did. The children tore through the many locations of this North Poll, their fingers snapping pictures the whole time.
"What makes it fun is that when you're learning, you're playing too," said 3rd-grader Kennedy Hood.
Santa Claus even showed up to say hello at the end.
Student Kiwi Cody got the message: "This is my first time on a plane, and the reason I got to go on this plane is because I worked hard reading books."