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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A local school brought class to the movies Tuesday. Buses transported more than 70 students from Jones County High School got to see box office heavy hitter Hidden Figures–for free. It’s all thanks to one guidance counselor.

Kahadija Oliver-Baker says she’s committed to giving kids a new perspective on U.S. history. The film, based on true events, tells the story of three African American women working in the NASA space program in the 1960’s. After seeing the movie herself, Baker felt it was an experience she needed to share with students.

“That Monday when I got back to school I asked to take the kids and my principal said sure,” she said.

But get this…not only did she organize the field trip, she also paid for all 76 student tickets out of her own pocket.

“The movie theater said I had to have it paid within one week of the showing so I came out here and I used my own personal funds to secure the tickets,” she said.

That’s nearly $500 in movie tickets. Baker felt it was worth every penny to give students an alternative learning experience.

“The goal of education to learn the truth, and because their textbooks do not include the full truth.” She continued, “As a parent, as an educator, and as a woman I want to be sure that I help expose the truth to my students.”

The story of three African American women working in NASA’s space program isn’t found in students’ textbooks but it’s one she says still needs to be told.

“I think about my students like my own children and I would have been remiss to not bring about some type of change in order to get them here to the theater to experience this truth,” she said.

Baker added that going the extra mile to show her kids an alternative look at history and the overwhelming response she got when she presented the opportunity is what makes her job all worth while.

She initially planned for 70 students to attend but more than twice that number returned permission slips signed by their parents.

Baker told 41NBC that unfortunately all 152 who returned permission slips were not able to attend Tuesday’s field trip. However, she is waiting on approval from the school to take that additional 80 students to see the film some time later this week.

Comment on this Story

  • Nick Miller

    What a selfless thing to do. Unless of course she contacted WMGT herself and told them of her plans which makes her intentions seem disingenuous. Guess we’ll never know…

    • Crystalyn

      I am one of the students that went on the trip… People like you and comments like this are the reason why we went and saw this movie. When someone trys to do good things for they community or for the youth you never hear about it ,But when someone sheds light on the youth letting them know you can do anything. That we can go beyond boundaries (aka Jones county) that people like you who hate instead of loving and encouraging more people to be like Mrs. Baker today , that people like you can but shut down through our success in life.Instead you put her down for what… You don’t even know her probably . Why do it matter or not if she called them. It shouldn’t matter, be thankful and greatful of people like her in the world today instead of interrogating.

    • Hey Nick–as it turns out, someone else got in touch with us about the story. We thought it was newsworthy. Thanks!

      Sean Franklin

  • bob Fickling

    Regardless the intentions, 70 kids got to see a movie otherwise might have never seen. Also, it’s important for their sense of where and how history is told or not told.

  • TAfful

    No good deed ever goes unpunished.
    The important thing to focus on for MOST would be the selfless human act of trying to lift others. It is encouraging to know that there are administrators in our schools that value our students and invest in their futures. Thank you Ms. Baker for showing them that sheer determination can provide limitless opportunities.

  • awealot

    Mrs Baker is absolutely amazing!  My children are homeschooled and she has generously shared her knowledge of the MOWR dual enrollment opportunities now available thanks to expanded legislation in 2015! She truly has a heart for helping all children in our community! I can’t help but sing her praises for partnering with families for real success! She’s the absolute BEST for all children in Jones county could hope for!  Second to NONE! 

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