Amazon Donates Kindles to Roberts Academy

Sep 9, 2015

by Cary McMullen | Publications editor

The big boxes with orange bows and the Amazon logos were waiting, and third- and fourth-grade students at the Roberts Academy soon were tearing into them, pulling aside paper and packaging to pull out 40 new Kindle Fire reading devices. Holding the readers, they smiled, held them up for others to see, and exclaimed, “Awesome!”

A host of dignitaries and visitors were on hand in September for the presentation of the readers and $2,000 in gift cards to the Roberts Academy from the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Polk County. The gift will benefit the third- and fourth-graders at the academy, the College’s school for gifted children in grades 2-6 with dyslexia.

The Kindles will be used by the students to assist with their individualized instruction in reading, said Dr. Tracey Tedder, dean of the School of Education at FSC and head of school at the Roberts Academy.

“They can work on different concepts and not disturb each other. There are specific websites that align with our curriculum, and there are read-aloud books online that allow them to practice visualization and repetition. This is a fabulous gift,” she said.

The presentation of the Kindles was made by Chris Monnot, general manager of the Amazon Fulfillment Center, which opened in August and employs 500 people at its 1.1 million square-foot facility.

“The Kindles help kids based on their needs,” he said following the ceremony. “They learn faster and get excited about reading. That’s why we do this.”

Also on hand for the presentation was Lakeland Mayor Howard Wiggs ’86; Steve Scruggs, president of the Lakeland Economic Development Council; State Rep. Colleen Burton; and Trustee Dr. Marjorie Roberts and her husband, Hal, who gave the major gift to start the Roberts Academy.

Referring to the Amazon logo, Hal Roberts told the audience, “It’s always a happy surprise to get a box with the swish on the side. Children must be taught in a way they can learn, and that happens here. Today we thank Amazon for recognizing the success that represents every family at this school and for giving these Kindles, because it will accelerate their learning experience.”