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Willmar 7th-grader earns iPad, donates it to special education classes

  • Associated Press
  • November 28, 2012 - 5:56 PM

WILLMAR, Minn. - A Willmar student worked to win an Apple iPad 2 in a middle school fundraiser this fall. But 12-year-old Annie Schaefbauer didn't want the tablet computer for herself. Instead, she donated it to her school's special education department.

"I've always liked to help people," said Annie, who wants to be a special education teacher. The seventh-grader sometimes works with special education students and knew the special education department at Willmar Middle School needed another iPad.

When she had the fundraising idea, Annie first went to her mother, Willmar Middle School social studies teacher Ann Hendershott, who told her, "Go for it." They worked together to put posters in the teacher restrooms and workrooms around the school.

Hendershott said she and her husband, Dennis Schaefbauer, are proud of Annie and her idea to help the special education department.

"She came up with it on her own," Hendershott said.

Annie needed to sell more than 200 items in the sale, things such as cookie dough, pizzas and wrapping paper. She sold 206 things for a total sale of $2,400. The school keeps 40 percent of that, Principal Mark Miley said.

On Tuesday, Miley presented Annie with her iPad 2, as special education students and staff members looked on. Annie then gave the tablet to Tracey Erickson, the school's speech and language clinician.

"We use iPads with the kids a lot," Erickson said. "The problem is we don't have enough."

Willmar Middle School has more than 160 special education students among its nearly 900 students, The West Central Tribune ( http://bit.ly/TudeC5) reported.

Erickson said she has had her teacher iPad and one other to use in classes. With Annie's donation, she'll have another one.

"You just don't know how much this means, sweetheart," she said to Annie.

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Information from: West Central Tribune, http://www.wctrib.com

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