Math, Civics and Sciences Charter School of Philadelphia is ranked by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as one of the city's top 10 schools.
On Friday, the 1st through 12th graders were rewarded for their strong academic efforts. They were all given the opportunity to pick a gift of their choice for Christmas.
"I wanted to make a day where they can select whatever they want," said Veronica Joyner, MCSCS Founder.
There were toy purses and race tracks but third grader, Ahmad Brisbaane chose a 3D chess set. He says he's been playing since he was 4-years-old.
Many of the boys chose basketballs, taking pride in the school's team that's undefeated this year.
"I think it's really nice that she let us all choose a gift, because everyone doesn't have it at home," said Jeff Powell, MCSCS senior.
Three students received extra-special gifts.
Nia Murphy and Naqiyl Booker have cancer and were each given an Ipod touch.
Senior, DiVante Warren got the surprise of his life! His dad is in the Navy, in California and Divante hasn't seen him in more than a year.
"Here are your tickets, you are leaving tomorrow at 8:00 pm," said Joyner.
The students have also learned that it's not about the gifts they receive but the gifts that they can give.
All of them participated in a food drive at their school. Donations will go to two homeless shelters in the city.