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Business donates guitars, clothing to students

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Stripling Elementary students strike a pose Friday in front of a box of gifts donated by local business Corus 360. All students will receive new winter accessories like gloves, scarves and hats.

Staff Photo: Frank Reddy Stripling Elementary students strike a pose Friday in front of a box of gifts donated by local business Corus 360. All students will receive new winter accessories like gloves, scarves and hats.

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Staff Photos: Frank Reddy Omar Saine, front left, and fellow students strum and sing along to a Black Eyed Peas song in Merle Soodyall's music class Friday at Stripling Elementary School. Saine, 8, and about 20 fellow students are getting brand-new guitars this week thanks to a local business' gift.

NORCROSS -- Students of Stripling Elementary School stood smiling Friday as they stared at a dozen gift boxes in the lobby, each wrapped with bright-colored paper.

Principal Priscilla McHam said local business Corus360 gave students the "best gifts ever" this week. The Norcross infrastructure solutions company bought new winter apparel for all kids at the school and 20 guitars for music students.

"They basically just asked us what our needs were," McHam said. "Then, they told us they'd be here today with boxes full of stuff for the kids."

Stripling faculty and staff plans to distribute the hats, gloves, socks and scarves before winter break, "so that every child is warm during winter."

It also means that Merle Soodyall's music class gets 20 brand-new acoustic guitars, which they'll be allowed to take home with them to hone their craft.

"It will give them more practice time," Soodyall said.

"(Corus360's) gift validates what we are trying to get across to students, that they have abilities that are yet to be uncovered," Soodyall said.

Soodyall called the partnership between Corus360 and Stripling "an exemplary relationship between private business and improvement of schools."

Administrative Assistant Stella Jackson said she was "thrilled" to learn that the company would be donating apparel and guitars.

Students Emmerson Gillett, 11, and Omar Saine, 8, both said they looked forward to being able to practice on their guitars at home.

"I like playing the guitar," Gillett said. "It's a good class. We have fun."

According to its website, Corus360 "delivers infrastructure solutions, recovery and professional services that help organizations reduce costs, increase efficiencies and maximize productivity."

For more information about Corus360, visit www.corus360.com.