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October 10, 2020

On a recent walk, I passed a local school and eyed a lone student desk in the courtyard, which I had never seen before even though I walk this path almost every day. I wondered why it was outside. It was so colorful. I went inside the patio for a closer look. The desk had been transformed into art. It was decorated in mosaic celebrating the class of 2014.

I wondered if this time of coronavirus – and the lack of in-class instruction due to the uncontrolled spread of Covid 19 -- had inspired another “unveiling” of the desk. That was my interpretation. Perhaps it’s a reminder to passersby that all children deserve a well-rounded education. This can’t be more important than now. I feel for parents who have no choice but to take on the daily role of “teacher” in addition to having their own jobs and managing day-to-day demands of raising a family.

Then today, I come across an article about a California father of four children who are in the stress-inducing throes of distance learning at home complete with books, papers, and pencils spread across the kitchen table. The father, a city building inspector, decided it was time to change the learning landscape at home.

With DYI smarts, he immediately decided to make desks for his children. With little cash output, his effort not only cleared the dinner table, “Within a couple of hours, two of my kids had their own place to store their supplies and focus on school.”

Proud of this project, he posted a photo of the desk on social media. Many parents responded to his post asking how they could make similar desks for their children. So, he made a YouTube video showing step-by-step instruction.

Well, this genius father’s effort caught the attention of a local grocer who offered to pay for supplies if he would build desks for other students in the school. That quickly led to a local GoFundMe effort to continue supplying desks for students throughout the district. Now, each student with his or her own desk at home takes pride in their own space. That, in turn, translates into motivated learners.

Great things can happen during the toughest of times.

Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives

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