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Chris Stapleton makes emotional visit to his high school

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Paul Zimmerman/FilmMagic

This article originally appeared on PEOPLE.com.

Chris Stapleton went back to his old high school and made quite an impression on the students currently enrolled there.

The singer returned to his alma mater, Johnson Central High School in Paintsville, Kentucky, late last week and gifted the school with $57,000 in musical instruments for their music program, with the help of Ram Trucks and the ACM Lifting Lives program.

“It’s important to me to help kids who want to be creative, be that music or any form of expression,” says Stapleton 37. “It’s important to me to support kids.”

And the students, who had been sharing old and in some cases broken instruments, were sure grateful – some even got emotional over Stapleton’s generous gesture and the opportunity to meet the school’s most famous alum.

“When I saw the faces of the kids with the instruments you could tell how much they genuinely appreciated it, but they were also in shock,” says Stapleton. “I think they were not expecting me to walk in.”

In addition to the surprise delivery of instruments, Stapleton performed two free concerts over his two-day visit and also unveiled a newly constructed outdoor theater at the school.

Says Stapleton: “To be here in the hometown, getting to help the school out and the kids out and the community out, that was the most obvious thing for me to do.”

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