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Justin Bieber spreads holiday cheer, donates to Las Vegas school

December 17, 2011 |  3:52 pm

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber, a.k.a. Santa’s little helper, stopped by Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas on Friday to spread a little Christmas cheer. The Beliebers were so excited to see the 17-year-old pop star, one girl even thought she was "gonna explode" -- and really, who can blame her?

Of course the fifth-grader, Jolie Leach, didn't actually burst from Bieber fever, and she even managed to keep her composure enough to give the Biebs a high five. Like a true fan, she told the Associated Press, she'll never wash her hand again.

Bieber visited to make good on a $100,000 promise he made to the school in September on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." In the end, Whitney Elementary got the check, a truckload of toys and a private show. Bieber's donation matches one made by Target, and the funds will be used for basic needs such as rent assistance.

"He really came for us. I'm so glad that he really came for us," fourth-grader Kynedi Harris said.

The school and its principal, Sherrie Gahn, have received praise and publicity for providing students, some of whom are homeless, with food, clothes and money for utility bills. Gahn told the "Ellen" show she made a pact with parents when she first came to the school eight years ago.

"I'll pay your electrical bill, your utilities, I'll give you food or clothes, whatever you need, as long as you give me your child and then help raise that child as a person of character," she said.

The children's struggles weren't lost on Bieber. Gahn said that during his performance, which included Christmas tunes from his album "Under the Mistletoe," the singer took time to tell the kids about his own tough upbringing and trips with his mom to their local food bank.


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-- Emily Christianson

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: Principal Sherrie Gahn and Justin Bieber at Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas on Friday. Credit: Michael Rozman / Warner Bros. / Associated Press