BARRANQUILLA, Colombia (AP) As a teenager, the pop star Shakira fought illiteracy, teaching reading at a parochial school in the humble La Playa district of her hometown on Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Her gift to La Playa is now considerably bigger.

The multiple Grammy winner dedicated a $6 million school on Wednesday sponsored by her foundation, Pies Descalzos, which means "barefoot" in Spanish.

The black-gowned Shakira was accompanied by President Alvaro Uribe, who decorated her with a medal. The 13,000-square-meter (140,000-sq.-ft.) school will cater to 1,800 students and is the fifth the singer-songwriter's foundation has built.

Shakira said her foundation's work is all about "breaking the myth that quality education is the privilege of the few."