A Searsport girl with special needs will now have the benefit of an iPad to help her communicate at home as well as at school, thanks to the generosity of the community and the efforts of the Belfast, Monroe, Searsport and Searsport Bay Area Lions Clubs.

Emma Cormier, a sixth-grader at Troy Howard Middle School and a Searsport resident, will benefit from a gift card worth $1,200 that will go toward the purchase of an iPad and associated applications that her teacher, Nicole Foster, said would be a great help to Cormier in terms of enhancing her ability to communicate.

“It’s giving her a voice,” said Foster, Cormier’s teacher.

Cormier has limited vision and limited fine motor and communication skills, and that makes the use of more common visual aids more challenging for her, but Foster said the iPad will make it much easier for Cormier to express herself because of the ease of using the device.

Jean Shorey, president of the Searsport Bay Area Lions Club, and her fellow club member Priscilla King, said the four clubs held a breakfast to raise the money for the iPad Saturday, March 2, and that event resulted in the collection of $1,200.

King said the community came through for the Cormier family in many ways, even if they could not attend the breakfast. When the Cormiers went to a local fuel dealer to pay their oil bill, the company representative told the family to keep their money and put it toward their daughter’s iPad.

“We were so touched by everyone who came out from the community to support Emma,” said Foster.

In a telephone interview with The Republican Journal Monday, March 18, Emma’s mother, Dawn Cormier, said she and her family are also very grateful for all the community support.

“It will be so nice for her to be able to communicate with us,” she said.