Amazon pays it forward to area schools
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
May 29, 2014 | 3430 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Manny Eleyae, senior operations manager for Amazon, asks eighth-grader Miguel Calderon, seventh-grader Angela Heredia, and sixth-grader Cheyenne Barfield to open a few mysterious boxes left at the front of a table during a surprise presentation at Creekside Middle School Friday, May 23. ----Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
Manny Eleyae, senior operations manager for Amazon, asks eighth-grader Miguel Calderon, seventh-grader Angela Heredia, and sixth-grader Cheyenne Barfield to open a few mysterious boxes left at the front of a table during a surprise presentation at Creekside Middle School Friday, May 23. ----Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
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Creekside Middle School students happily pose with employees of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in Patterson after receiving free Kindles Friday afternoon, May 23. ----Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
Creekside Middle School students happily pose with employees of Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in Patterson after receiving free Kindles Friday afternoon, May 23. ----Photo by Brooke Borba/Patterson Irrigator
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Representatives of the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Patterson took a field trip to an area school Friday afternoon, May 23, in an effort to branch out their services to the Patterson community.

As a result, Creekside Middle School’s Special Education department were in for a big treat after Amazon Fulfillment joined forces with the Patterson Joint Unified School District to provide a donation of 50 Kindle Fire HD devices and $2,500 in purchase content for PJUSD’s Special Education programs.

After opening their operations last fall, Amazon Corporate Communications specialist Sam Kennedy said they were proud to call Patterson home, and wanted to showcase their efforts by personally visiting an area school.

“Creekside Middle School is just up the street from our fulfillment center, and we are thrilled to make a donation of 50 Kindle devices and $2,500 in gift cards to purchase content on behalf of all of our employees in the area,” said Kennedy earlier that week.

The devices, which are meant for classroom use, will help shape PJUSD’s technological growth and assist students with learning differences.

“We know the Kindle devices will be an exciting addition to the classroom and will spark an excitement for reading with the students,” added Kennedy. “We will continue to look for ways to give back.”

The excitement initially began when many middle school students moseyed into an empty classroom, unaware of the gift they were about to receive. Three boxes lined with yellow bows sat on a table opposite them, while PJUSD staff stood nearby Creekside’s mascot, Petey the Panther.

Before long, the short ceremony was underway as Amazon representative Manny Eleyae and Principal Kerry McWilliams led the classroom in a small chant and “rumble” of hands drumming on the desks. Sprits were high for everyone, including the faculty.

Bruce Kelly, president of the school board, was especially impressed with Amazon’s efforts to connect with the community.

“It’s a big deal for Amazon to give (the Kindles) away so immediately and to come to one of our schools,” he said. “That is the advantage with having Amazon here—they can come and do this on a personal level.”

What made matters more enjoyable was the fact that Eleyae asked three fellow students to tear into the boxes themselves, proving that it was truly their gift.

Once the three students reached the inside contents, their jaws dropped as they carefully pulled the Kindle devices from the box. A wave of excitement rang out from the students as representatives of Patterson’s fulfillment center stepped in to disperse the coveted content.

The middle school-ers quickly handled the devices with ease, which made many of the PJUSD staff excited, including Creekside special education instructor Randy Fareria.

“It’s amazing—the Amazing Amazon,” Fareria said with a smile. “It’s just going to help our student’s move around, and provide a better program for the high school.”

Principal Kerry McWilliams also shared similar sentiments, noting that handling the devices will be an easier transition than reading out of textbooks.

“We are very appreciative,” said McWilliams after the students took a picture with the representatives of Amazon. “This is just a fabulous donation. It will enhance our program so much more.”

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or brooke@pattersonirrigator.com.
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