Actress Julia Roberts visited the Children’s First Academy in Phoenix, Arizona, where all of the students live below the poverty line and receive care thanks to new funding for their school nurse.
Her visit was part of Red Nose Day, a celebrity-packed telethon to help lift kids out of poverty. “The Red Nose Day Special" is airing Thursday, May 26 (9-11 p.m. ET) on NBC.
"It's amazing how much they can provide in this small space for a huge amount of children who are entitled to care and love," Roberts told NBC’s Joe Fryer of her visit to the school. The Oscar-winning actress was there along with Red Nose Day executive producer Richard Curtis, who brought the U.K. tradition to the U.S. last year.
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Children First Academy provides busing and social services to its students and the clinic, guided by nurse Lacey, help kids suffering from poor nutrition, lack of sleep, asthma, mental health issues, lice and other health problems.
"These are children with the toughest lives, with worst health because of that. Without this work they wouldn't get any health care," Curtis said.
Roberts called nurse Lacey "a bright light in a dark hallway" and said "we can all rise up and participate in altering" the lives of children living in poverty by raising money.
"I'll do anything for these kids I met today," Roberts said.
Last year, Roberts offered a comic contribution to Red Nose Day in a sketch exposing her true voice on national television. Roberts' "natural" voice, many octaves lower than her real voice, was dubbed over famous movie scenes starring the actress.