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Wednesday, September 21, 2011, 01:50 pm PT (04:50 pm ET)

Apple ships thousands of donated iPads to America's poorest schools

Apple has been collecting original iPad models donated by iPad 2 buyers in a program supporting Teach for America, which trains college graduates to handle the job of teaching in the nation's poorest schools.

According to a report by Phillip Elmer-Dewitt writing for Fortune, more than 9,000 members of the Teach for America corps were each offered refurbished iPads.

The program asked new teachers in an email, "What could an iPad do for your classroom and your students? Well, we're asking you to help us answer this question."

Apple has been distributing the new hardware over the past two weekends. The report cited Katie Remington, a new teacher running the science department in an inner-city St. Louis school, as having received a like-new refurbished model.

After her first day with the new device Remington wrote, "So far, I've figured out it can make them finish their work fast for 'iPad time.'"

Steve Jobs' wife Laurene Powell sits on the board of directors of the Teach for America program. The program targets 15 million American children who live in poverty, working to deliver an excellent education for disadvantaged kids.

The program helps pay for students' relocation costs and student loans in exchange for a two year commitment to work in under-resourced urban and rural public school.