Foundation Delivers Tablets

Whitis Foundation awards successful students
By: Todd Martin
The gift giving never seems to go out of season for one particular foundation that partners with the Killeen school district to put technology in the hands of deserving students.
The Whitis Foundation, started by JD Development is making the rounds in elementary and middle schools delivering Amazon Fire tablets to students for high attendance, solid behavior and academic success.
Josh Welch, vice president of the local development company, along with Angenet Wilkerson, community relations director for KISD, visited schools this week and will continue into next week prior to the two-week school holiday.
At each school, Welch encourages students to continue to work hard in school. “What you do now everyday will affect what you do later in life,” he said Wednesday in a classroom at Manor Middle School.
“We want to honor students for doing great things,” he said before calling up a student the teacher nominated for the award. Many of the honored students have shown the ability to overcome obstacles.
The foundation currently donates 50 tablets every semester divided among 16 elementary schools and six middle schools in KISD. In all, the non-profit group has given away more than 400 tablets to students.
“It’s really cool,” said London Shaw, an Ira Cross Elementary School fifth-grader who received a tablet for the second time. He said he would give his newest gift to a family member.
The fifth-grader said he does his best in school and doesn’t cause trouble.
“He is a hard-working student and he always has a positive attitude,” said teacher Jenna McArthur, who nominated Shaw for the award. “He helps others and keeps his head up. I’m happy for him.”
Manor Middle School Principal Rhea Bell said the generous community support gives schools an added opportunity to award students who are making good choices.
“For me, it’s so heartwarming to have this kind of support from the community,” Bell said. “This is a chance to recognize students for grades and behavior – for doing the right things. It is great positive reinforcement.”