How about a break from the regular news? Yes, we try and provide that most of the time here at the Muskegon Channel, but today is a special pass and a super feel good story because it involves a company going above and beyond for some local kids and teachers who really needed a hand.
I got word the Genius Phone Repair was heading out to Marquette School to visit the classrooms of Amy Bufka and Hope Kavos. Amy and Hope teach Autistic kids at the school. Autistic kids learn a little differently than "normal kids" and adapting the educational environment for them is a matter of finding the tools and methods that work, especially in a setting that is sometimes non verbal on part of the student. It can be a very challenging endeavor, but also a very rewarding process when that little light goes off and the kid actually learns!
Technology helps. Where some traditional methods of reaching a student or gauging how they are doing might be difficult, with an IPad there are programs designed to stimulate the student and retain their attention. They even have ways to track eye movement and see how much time has been spent distracted vs. watching the screen absorbing the information presented. The teachers had been using iPads in the classroom, however the ones they had were getting quite old, first generation and becoming outdated. Not to mention, there were only a couple of them so...iPads were not the primary tool anymore.
Genius got word of the need and responded. On Friday, Devon Sparks and crew from Genius Phone Repair by The Lakes Mall showed up at Marquette with 10 iPads in hand, complete with protective Otter Box cases for the teachers. They were a donation to help their work in the classroom as well as provide an updated method for kids who struggle with traditional learning methods. It was a pretty exciting thing to be a part of. We sat and talked a little about the presentation. Take a listen.
What a joy to find a local company willing to pitch in and help! Teachers struggle to make ends meet in the classroom every day already and the idea of a single iPad is out of reach for many, let alone 10. This is a gift that will impact these kids and their learning for years to come. Our thanks to the tipster who sent us the word about the gift and to the great people at Marquette Elementary for welcoming us in to share the story. This is Muskegon. This is what our community is about and we're so proud to be able to cover stories like this!