Community Education

Sunender Mann, general manager of Amazon Fulfillment in Jeffersonville, Indiana, stands in front of a group of students who are sitting cross-legged on swaths of stubby seafoam green carpet. They are all wearing bright purple “West End School” t-shirts, which are decorated with their school mascot, a soaring eagle.

“Kids, are you excited today,” Mann asks, holding out a microphone which amplifies an explosion of applause from students, parents and teachers.

Ashlie Stevens | wfpl.org

West End School students

He then makes the announcement that the Amazon Fulfillment Center would be donating over 1,000 books, 16 tablets and new furnishings to the West End School’s library.

Deidre Baliban is the head librarian at the school. She says the library has needed an upgrade for a long time.

“A week ago we had nothing that matched, no furniture that was new,” She says. “Now we can actually have the kids sit at a table, do a lesson there and they don’t have to be on the floor where we had no rugs.”

Baliban says Amazon also provided software that will enable the librarians to check out books electronically, and a searchable database for students that allows them to see all of the available books with the click of a mouse.

Ashlie Stevens | wfpl.org

Some of the new library furniture, tablets and books provided by Amazon Fulfillment.

Mayor Greg Fischer also attended the remodel unveiling, and addressed the students.

“West End School stands for so many things, but one of the things that you guys stand for is compassion,” Fischer says. “This is our ‘Give-A-Day Week of Service,’ and look at these guys from Amazon over here.”

Fischer: “They want to help people and you know what they are asking for? Nothing. They just want you guys to pay it forward.”

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.