Canton City Schools teacher builds desks for online learners

tagsPlastic School Tables

Crenshaw Middle School teacher John Huntsman (John Huntsman) hopes to see students online like he sees them in a classroom: stand upright.

However, this is not the case. At that time, the Guangzhou School District temporarily migrated to distance learning in December and January, respectively, in order to anticipate a surge in COVID-19 cases after the holidays.

Huntsman said: "They will lie on the sofa, bed or floor." He has been teaching for 16 years, and now helps struggling readers through the federally funded Title I program. "This is not a good posture for learning."

He learned that many students do not have tables at home. To him, it seemed simple.

Huntsman bought some wood, fiberboard, and construction screws from a local home improvement store and built what he called a basic desk, which measures about 2 feet 2 feet, which is more than 2 feet tall. It takes about 45 minutes to make each table, and he can only make three to four tables at a time.

With the help of Crenshaw principal Robert Crone and Crone’s truck, Huntsman has delivered 11 desks in the past month. As news between teachers and families continues to spread, other Guangzhou students are making more works.

He said: "This is a crazy time, especially for children." "If there is a way to simplify crazy behaviors such as tables, then I will do it."

Seventh grader Matthew Bair likes his new table. He has been sharing the kitchen table with his fifth-grade brother.

Matthew's mother Tiffany Bair said: "On Google Meets, the voice is too loud and it's too distracting."

Tiffany said that they put the table in Matthew's room, which is the quietest place in the house. He not only uses it for school homework, but also plays board games and even eats with his 13-year-old sister. 

Tiffany said: "He always wanted to have lunch there because it was his own table." He plans to let Matthew study at home this school year. "It means a lot to him, and his teacher surpassed everything."

Brandy Goodwin said that her seventh-grade daughter Bailey Bond has also been using her desk.

Goodwin said: "She uses it as a desk, dressing table, art table, and anything else." "She likes it, and using it now is more important than anything else."

Bailey is going to a face-to-face class next week. She has been cooking in the kitchen with her sixth-grade brother and mother who is in class. Brandi says the desk is helpful because Bailey doesn't have to put things away every day like on the kitchen table.

Crenshaw principal, Crone, said Huntsman's generosity is a powerful example of the dedication shown by school teachers and staff since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. He said the staff conducted home visits to check on students, had one-on-one meetings with parents to help solve technical problems, and volunteers provided food to the family in addition to the meals provided to students on school days.

Krone said: "Anything we can do can help our children."

Huntsman, who has always provided desks for free, is accepting donations to help him purchase materials. He said that the production cost of each desk is at least $12. He is also seeking funding from Home Depot, and some of his colleagues have voluntarily purchased chairs and tables and donated materials.

You can make a donation to the Crenshaw academic booster of the CSE Federal Credit Union, or you can make a donation through Venmo@Susan-Scheetz-1, and then transfer the funds to the booster’s bank account.

Contact Us
  • Maggie Kwan
  • +86 757 2363 2953
  • +86 139 2480 2689
  • +86 757 2387 9469
  • +86 139 2480 2689