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Morgan's Wonderland, PCI Education and WeAreTeachers Announce Winners of Trip

Author: PCI Education

Published: 2010-11-15 : (Rev. 2015-12-06)

Synopsis and Key Points:

Morgans Wonderland PCI Education and WeAreTeachers announce the winners of its back-to-school contest for special education teachers and students.

Main Digest

Students with special needs awarded family trip to Morgan's Wonderland - Morgan's Wonderland, PCI Education and WeAreTeachers Announce Winners of Trip to World's First Ultra-Accessible Family Fun Park.

Morgan's Wonderland, PCI Education and WeAreTeachers announce the winners of its back-to-school contest for special education teachers and students. This year's grand prize winner is seven-year-old Brenden Baker from Abilene, Texas, nominated by Marsha Stewart, teacher at Abilene Independent School District's Bassetti Elementary School. Brenden Baker and his family have won a trip to Morgan's Wonderland, a 25-acre park designed specifically for children and adults with special needs. As the nominating teacher of the grand prize winner, Marsha Stewart has been awarded a suite of PCI Education curriculum products, including the PCI Education Reading Program and the Environmental Print series.

Nearly 250 teachers nominated a student and his or her family for a chance to win a free trip to Morgan's Wonderland. The nominations were posted in the WeAreTeachers community and received more than 56,000 votes over a three-week period. A panel of judges reviewed the top 10 nominees who received the most votes, and selected the grand prize winner and runners-up.

Overwhelmed by the response and support of the students' teachers, family and communities, Morgan's Wonderland, PCI Education and WeAreTeachers sought additional resources to send the two runners-up in addition to the grand prize winner to Morgan's Wonderland, as well as provide additional classroom materials to the teachers who nominated these students.

The grand prize winner, Brenden Baker, is like any other seven-year-old boy who loves to go to school, eat chicken nuggets and play at the playground. However, Brenden Baker is not average in size, as he is approximately 18 pounds and 26 inches tall. He has Desbuquois Syndrome, an extremely rare form of Dwarfism. According to teacher Marsha Stewart, "Brenden is a very special part of our family at Bassetti Elementary School, and he reminds us often that it really is the 'little' things in life that bring us real joy!"

The first runner-up is fourteen-year-old Katherine Hobson from Stewart, Fla., nominated by Doris Davis, teacher at Martin County School District's South Fork High School. Katherine has a delightful personality that motivates others, despite living with Cerebral Palsy. She has no functional use of her arms and legs, and is severely limited in her speech, yet she appreciates each and every thing that is done on her behalf. According to her teacher Doris Davis, "Katherine inspires me every day with her positive attitude and tremendous effort."

The second runner-up is eight-year-old Casey Rohrer from Hermosa Beach, Calif., nominated by Jeannine Madden, teacher at Hermosa Beach City School District's Hermosa Valley School. With a genuine smile and infectious laugh, Casey Rohrer is unable to walk or speak on his own due to Cerebral Palsy. "Thanks to Casey, the students and staff at our school have developed an enhanced sense of empathy and understanding about his disability by learning to interact and involve him as they would any other child at school," said Jeannine Madden.

"We are in awe of every amazing student, parent and teacher who participated in this program," said Gordon Hartman, head of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation and driving force in the creation of Morgan's Wonderland. "The park allows people of all abilities to play, learn and share life-changing experiences together, and we're extremely proud to partner with PCI Education and WeAreTeachers to provide the winning students and their families with a memorable experience at Morgan's Wonderland."

"We never expected this level of response for a first-time contest," said Lee Wilson, CEO and President of PCI Education. "We're inspired by the incredible and touching stories shared by hundreds of teachers across the country, and honored to support these educators who are important linchpins in the community that supports these students."

"These children have overcome immense challenges to inspire their communities into action," said Sandy Fivecoat, CEO and Founder of WeAreTeachers. "We're thrilled to be a part of something that recognizes these students and their teachers who are making a difference for those with special needs."

Located in San Antonio, Morgan's Wonderland is a 25-acre park designed specifically for children and adults with special needs, their families, caregivers, and friends. The park is completely wheelchair-accessible, and features more than 25 elements and attractions, including rides, playgrounds, gardens, and an eight-acre fishing lake. Morgan's Wonderland is a unique oasis that allows people of all abilities to play, learn and share life-changing experiences together in a fun and safe environment.

The grand prize includes two days admission to Morgan's Wonderland, round-trip airfare to San Antonio, and two nights hotel accommodations, a trip valued at approximately $5,000. The teacher who nominated the grand prize winner received a suite of PCI Education curriculum products valued at $2,800. Teachers who nominated the runners-up selected one of the following products from PCI Education: PCI Reading Program or Environmental Print Series.

For more information about the contest, visit www.pcieducation.com/mwpark.

About Morgan's Wonderland -Morgan's Wonderland, the world's first family fun park designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind, features more than 25 elements and attractions, including rides, playgrounds, gardens, an eight-acre fishing lake, 18,000-square-foot special-events center, 575-seat amphitheater, picnic area and rest areas throughout the park. For more information, visit www.MorgansWonderland.com. The non-profit park and nearby STAR Soccer Complex were created through the vision and leadership of The Gordon Hartman Family Foundation of San Antonio.

About PCI Education -PCI Education offers more than 7,500 instructional materials for a wide range of students with special needs, including significant or developmental disabilities such as autism. In addition, the company's products are used in English language learner and adult literacy classes, and to help students performing below grade level. Based in San Antonio, PCI Education has been helping educators lead students to success in school, at home and in the community since 1991. For more information, visit www.pcieducation.com or phone 800-594-4263.

About WeAreTeachers -WeAreTeachers (www.weareteachers.com) is a social and business community for educators, businesses, and education marketers designed to enable community members to share, connect, and collaborate using Web 2.0 tools and services. It is the first community to include The Knowledge Marketplace that gives both educators and businesses the ability to share, sell, and receive recommendations on knowledge-based content and products. WeAreTeachers is committed to giving back to the educator community by distributing tangible rewards through educator grants and incentives from transactions and sponsors in The Knowledge Marketplace.

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