Headmaster Mark Frizzell said during a short ceremony that like most private schools, the list of needs at Bachman Academy is long and resources are short.
“When Amazon called and said they were presenting us this gift, we were just thrilled. It’s an incredible, incredible moment for us,” he said.
Amazon offered the school a choice between the touch screen or keyboard reader. Academic Coordinator Sarah Wolverton said the touch screen is in harmony with the goal of going outside the classroom and the device works brilliantly in sunlight.
“We have students who have dyslexia and the e-reader will allow more time with books with the text-to-speech feature,” she said. “We plan to use the Amazon Kindle Touch in the classroom, particularly in the Language Arts.”
She said the devices will impact students by allowing all 37 of them to participate in their own education.
“Thank you for assisting us at Bachman Academy in doing what we do great, which is empowering students with learning differences to be successful in our global community,” Wolverton said.
Mike Thomas, general manager of the local Amazon fulfillment center on Lauderdale Memorial Highway, said Amazon was excited to be part of the community and is thrilled to make the special presentation to the school.
“As members of the community, we are committed to supporting organizations like Bachman Academy that make this a great area to work, live and grow,” he said. “Everyone on this campus has made it their mission to empower students with learning differences to develop the skills and values necessary for success in our global community.”
Thomas said he was impressed by the academy’s focus and relentlessly high standards.
“You act on those values by helping to create thoughtful, creative individuals and helping them to discover new ways to learn, grow and succeed,” Thomas said. “We are humbled to have the opportunity to help make that happen.”
The donation included a $1,500 gift certificate for content to be added to the electronic readers.
John Riley, a member of the school’s board of trustees, said the Kindles will be a tremendous asset to the school.
“It gives us a different medium in which the students can learn by visual activity, it will give them more access to books we don’t have in our library — so it’s just going to be a tremendous asset,” he said.
Riley said he has seen changes at the school during his 10 years on the board, “and the school is as strong as it has ever been.”
On the same day Amazon offered the donation, Bachman Academy was notified of its accreditation through the Southern Association of Independent Schools for the next five years.
“I should have bought a lottery ticket that day,” Frizzell said.
Fred Lupton, 69, has been on the board of trustees periodically over several decades.
“When I was in school, we thought a slide rule was new,” he said. “That was my challenge.”
Bachman Academy was an orphanage until 1999 when it was named Bachman Academy and became a school.