(CBS/AP) Teen pop icon Justin Bieber will be singing holiday tunes under the mistletoe today at an east Las Vegas elementary school, where more than 85 percent of the school's 600-plus students receive free or reduced lunch. The school also has the largest homeless population in the county.
The 17-year-old star's concert, featuring songs from his holiday album "Under the Mistletoe," at Whitney Elementary School comes after the singer pledged on a Nov. 1 episode of "The Ellen Degeneres Show," to donate $100,000 to the school.
After Bieber announced the gift and concert the hundreds of students watching the taping from a multi-purpose room at their Las Vegas school erupted into screams and cheers. One girl is seen jumping up and down, and school officials say some of the students burst into tears of joy.
"For the kids, it shows that someone loves them and cares about them to follow up," Principal Sherrie Gahn told the Las Vegas Sun after the taping. "When you live in an existence where everything seems so hopeless, it's an amazing gift they will never forget. It's beyond their wildest dreams."
Whitney Elementary was featured on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" because, under Gahn's leadership, it provides a food pantry, clothes closet, free haircuts and literacy training for students' families. Gahn hrself has been known to provide pupils with such unusual items as a bed, eyeglasses and Christmas presents from Santa.