Posted: Tuesday, August 6th 2013 at 1:15pm
GHS Special Ed class given 17 new iPads (VIDEO)
By Marc Eggers Staff
GAINESVILLE – Robert Horne is a special Special Education teacher at Gainesville High School. The redundant use of the word ‘special’ is intentional.
Last May Horne went to the Gainesville Walmart to purchase a carton of Little Hug Fruit Barrels, a lower sugar fruit beverage, for his class.
Teresa Hughes, Academic Coordinator of Student Services, explained, “(Horne) has a class in-school store for his students for them to practice counting money, making change, so they can apply that to real world situations.”
"These juice packs were actually purchased for that use in his class," Hughes added.
Little did Horne realize, but at the bottom of the box containing the Fruit Barrels was a certificate informing whomever purchased that box that they had won $3,000 as part of a nationwide advertising campaign by parent corporation, the American Beverage Company.
Even though Horne had used his personal funds to purchase the Fruit Barrels, he determined to use the prize money to benefit his Special Ed class.
Horne hoped to use the $3,000 to purchase as many iPads as possible for his classroom. That much money would afford six or seven of the Apple devices, enough for his seventeen students to share. Horne was excited by the good fortune that had just befallen him.
But at about the same time Horne would be faced with a mega-challenge in his personal life. He was diagnosed with cancer. Undoubtedly, the thought must have entered his mind of when, if ever, he would be able to return to his classroom.
American Beverage Company, headquartered in Verona, Pennsylvania, found out about the situation and decided to help Horne and his Special Ed class by purchasing enough iPads for each of the seventeen students, and to allow Horne to use the $3,000 prize to help pay for his medical bills.
ABC Vice President of Marketing, Tim Barr, made the trip to Gainesville personally. He announced his plans to be at GHS on Tuesday at 11AM, with the iPads in hand.
Horne would not be able to be there in person as major surgery and the therapy that ensued prohibited him from attending.
Barr also faced a challenge upon his arrival. The Gainesville Walmart only had seven iPads in stock and Barr needed seventeen.
Walmart Manager Anthony Howard got involved, calling area Walmarts in Dawsonville, Buford and other locations to see if they had any iPads in stock. They did and Howard hit the road, making the drive to collect the needed seventeen iPads.
"I made sure he had the quantities he needed," Howard explained.
Kindness breeds kindness, they say, and once Walmart officials heard about the effort they decided to contribute a $200 gift card for Horne’s class to use for peripheral iPad devices they might need.
GHS Principal LaCrisia Larkin accepted the iPads from Barr on Horne’s behalf. "They will certainly benefit from the use of these iPads. Thank you."
Barr added that ABC also decided to provide each of the students in the Special Ed class with a year’s supply of Little Hug Fruit Barrels.
Barr said, when told that the Special Ed students would be arriving on Monday, "When school starts it will be a little bit better for them."
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