Actress, Bay Area Native Zendaya Visits Oakland Elementary School to Show Support for STEM Education

Students at Fruitvale Elementary School were treated to a special visit from award-winning actress and singer Zendaya on Monday morning. The Disney Channel-star stopped by the campus — where her mom used to teach — to encourage the youngsters to pursue STEM-related disciplines. 

The students let out excited yells as Zendaya’s mother, Claire Stoermer, announced her daughter as a special guest during a morning assembly. A touching video of the introduction was posted on Oakland Unified School District’s Facebook page.

“I was running around here, helping out all the time,” Zendaya told the smiling students. “So I’m really excited to be back here and actually meet the kids that are here now! You guys are absolutely adorable.”[[471680364, C]]

The actress then visited classrooms to speak with students and talk about tech and the importance of education. 

Zendaya came to the campus promote Project Lead The Way, an initiative backed by Verizon that sponsors learning development in tech and other fields. The goal, according to the project’s website, is to provide students with “real-world, transportable skills” and aid teachers with “training, resources, and support.”

The actress also posted on her Instagram Stories about her visit, holding up a shirt that said: “All Are Welcome Here.” She captioned the update with “Oakland Schools are Sanctuary Schools,” a nod to the sanctuary campus resolutions that were passed in school districts throughout the Bay Area. Zendaya has been outspoken about political issues, often using her platform to raise awareness about issues related to social justice. 

After rising to fame on Disney Channel hit “Shake It Up,” Zendaya went on to appear in a number of hit programs for the kid-friendly channel. In 2017, she starred as M.J. in the latest iteration of Marvel’s “Spider-Man” franchise. She also wowed critics for her turn in “The Greatest Showman,” an Academy Award-nominated musical that showcased the Bay Area native’s singing ability.

As a child, Zendaya spent time tutoring students and helping out at the elementary school. She also volunteered at Cal Shakes, where her mother served as house manager.

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