LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A local business owner was so impressed by her visit with a group of sophomores at Central High School last week that she returned Thursday with a big surprise -- Amazon Fire e-books for each student.

Rae Helton was at the school on Feb. 2 to award the school's librarian, Lynn Reynolds, with a 2017 Hilliard Lyons Excellence Award. While there, she met a group of students who were in the library for "Jacket Time" -- a 45 minute intervention block where they get extra time to work on reading and writing.

"I spoke to the class and was so impressed with their motivation and desire to learn," Helton told WDRB News on Thursday. "Dr. Reynolds is using her time to empower the students through literacy and they are improving their critical thinking skills, discussing careers and college."

She was so inspired that she returned to Central on Thursday with her husband, Audwin Helton, and surprised the group of 20 students with Kindle Fire tablets. 

"It's yours to take home, but I want you to use it as a tool for this class," Helton told the students, who for a few moments, thought she was kidding.

When they realized she was serious and saw the box of new tablets, huge smiles came across their faces.

"For real?!" Dasia Trowel asked. "Thank you so much!" 

Rae and Audwin Helton own Spatial Data Integrations, a federal contractor that works in the geospatial industry. They say they are always looking for ways to give back to their community.

Roman Blue, 16, said hearing from the Helton's made him feel good and inspired.

"I liked hearing about them and their story," he said. "They inspired me, made me feel like anything is possible."

Reporter Antoinette Konz covers K-12 education for WDRB News. She can be reached at 502-585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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