Shachiahata and The Arbor School Partner To Make a Difference in the Lives of Special Children

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An executive delegation from the world's largest stamp manufacturer visited Houston's most "special" school to see for themselves their win-win-win partnership with recently formed Arbor Products, a 501(c)(3) company. So why would a group of execs from Japan and their Los Angeles office visit a small school in Houston? Arbor Products provides revenue for The Arbor School and meaningful employment for our alumni and others in the handicapped community.

The US Government gets great office products at terrific prices, Shachihata has another segment to extend their brand into, and some very special adults have something meaningful to do with their lives. Oh, and it helps out the school, too. I guess that's four wins!

On January 29, 2009, an executive delegation from the world's largest stamp manufacturer visited Houston's most "special" school to see for themselves their win-win-win partnership with recently formed Arbor Products. Shachiahata Inc. is headquartered in Nagoya City, about two hours west of Tokyo, Japan, with offices in 16 countries world wide. So why would a group of execs from Japan and their Los Angeles office visit a small school in Houston?

Through his translator Terry Minato, President of Shachiahata USA, the owner of Shachiahata, Shinkichiro Funahashi, said, "We wanted to see for ourselves how a school for special needs children is benefited by providing stamp products to the US government through an exclusive contract." Arbor Products was created to provide high quality, low cost office products through the Ability One purchasing program. Arbor Products provides revenue for the Arbor School and meaningful employment for Arbor Alumni and others in the handicapped community.

Mike Bischoff, the President of Arbor Products, knows first hand the impact that The Arbor School has on special needs kids. "My daughter Allie was born with Down Syndrome a little over 13 years ago. Words cannot express what The Arbor School means to my family and me-- she's able to do things we never dreamed were possible. I started Arbor Products to help give back to the school that has given us so much."

Mr. Funahashi and his wife Atsuko, their son, Akinori Funahashi (VP), Jack Hirose, former President of Shachiahata USA, and Terry Minato, President Shachiahata USA, spent the morning touring the Arbor School, and were given a presentation about the school and it's future. Dr. Charles Meisgeier, the Director at The Arbor School, gave a passionate presentation about the school and it's impact on the lives of special needs children and their families. In addition to his work with The Arbor School, Dr. Meisgeier is Professor Emeritus at The University of Houston's Educational Psychology department.

To explain what makes The Arbor School different from other schools, Donna James, head teacher of the Arbor School showed several individualized learning tools the school utilizes. With a teacher to student ratio of 1 to 2, The Arbor School has individualized instruction from loving caring professionals. After exchanging gifts and watching a moving video featuring the kids, the group toured the quaint yet antiquated facilities. Meeting the teachers and students brought smiles and laughter to the usually reserved executives.

Arbor Products, in partnership with other charities and foundations, is assisting The Arbor School to build a state-of-the-art facility. Currently, The Arbor School educates and provides therapy services for 45 students, birth to 15 years. The new campus will enable the school to serve approximately 100 children, birth to 18 years. Because of their extensive waiting list, the Arbor looks to the future to provide a place for education, training and hope, for these area children and their families. In addition to providing space for additional students, the new facilities will better accommodate on-site therapy and diagnostic services as well as vocational and secondary education. Five acres of land have been purchased for the planned 35,000 square foot facility. In 2008, the Houston/DC-based architecture firm of Powers Brown won a prestigious regional award for the design of the school (AIA Houston- Design Award: "On the Boards").

The tour then moved to Arbor Products, where Mike Bischoff explained how the program actually works, utilizing Xstamper components assembled by handicapped workers. "It's a win-win-win," says Bischoff. "The US Government gets great office products at terrific prices, Shachihata has another segment to extend their brand into, and some very special adults have something meaningful to do with their lives. Oh, and it helps out the school, too. I guess that's four wins!"

About Shachihata
What started as a small stamp-making business more than 75 years ago has blossomed into a $700 million dollar a year operation that includes more than nine factories and 900 employees worldwide. Today, http://www.xstamper.com is the place to find and discover any personalized product you want to buy online. Shachihata sells products in 16 languages and in over 80 countries. They pioneered laser manufacturing for faster and better print quality. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.xstamper.com.

About Arbor Products
Arbor Products is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation providing high quality office products through the US Government purchasing program "Ability One", formerly JWOD (Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act). Arbor Products provides revenue for The Arbor School and meaningful employment for our alumni and others in the handicapped community. Arbor Products uses Xstamper parts that are assembled by handicapped workers in their Houston manufacturing plant. For more information about Arbor Products, please contact Christen Hatfield at 888-766-8949, or visit them on-line at http://arborschoolproducts.com.

About The Arbor School
The Arbor School provides intensive educational intervention, at the least possible cost to parents, for children, birth through age eighteen, evidencing developmental delays, or those at risk due to diagnosed handicapping conditions. A pioneer school in Houston, Arbor provides intensive educational intervention with a 2:1 student/teacher ratio, for children with all forms of developmental disabilities, birth through age eighteen. Their primary goal is to assist infants and young children in developing motor, social, self-help, communication, and problem-solving skills that will permit the greatest degree of independent functioning. The Arbor School is certified as a Community Resource Provider by NISH (National Institute for the Severely Handicapped). For more inforation about the Arbor School, please contact Kate Crady, Director of Development, at 713-316-0114, or visit http://www.arbor.org.

To obtain high-resolution images or other media inquiries, please contact Scott Bronstad at 832-816-6579.

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