Dad Builds Desks For Struggling Students During Pandemic

A former carpenter and dad-of-four in Lemoore, California, is going above and beyond to make sure all the children in his community have their own work stations.

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Mitchell Couch has assembled dozens of desks for low-income students who are struggling with remote learning amid the coronavirus epidemic. The 44-year-old said that the project was inspired by his kids after they took over the kitchen table earlier this month. Public schools in Couch’s area are all-virtual until further notice.

“They were trying to work across from each other and their books were all over the place. It was a mess,” Couch said. “So I decided to build them each a desk.” He says, “Right away, my wife and I noticed they were more focused,” Couch revealed.

 

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I have to tell you about some amazing people in our community. The owners of the local Grocery Outlet saw my diy desk video and asked me if i could make some desks for them. They wanted to donate them to the local schools for the kids who are in need because of distant learning. I didn’t hesitate to help them out. They asked for 25 desks to start but the need was great so we upped it to 35!!! My wonderful wife helped me through the whole thing and even surprised me with four desks she made while I was at work. The owners wanted to keep it low key but I just have to let others know how much local business means to a community like ours. Thank you Karin and David for being wonderful people. #supportsmallbusiness #groceryoutlet

A post shared by Mitch Couch (@goodlyearth) on

Couch is now making YouTube video tutorials to help others make the DIY folding desk which would cost them roughly $20. Shortly after uploading the clip, Couch was contacted by the owners of the Grocery Outlet, a discount supermarket chain asking him if he would be interested in building desks for students in need if they paid for the materials?

“Of course, I loved the idea,” Couch said. Couch has crafted 40 desks since the beginning of the month and hopes to bang out 50 more. “People are begging for desks,” Couch said. “I’ve gotten thousands of messages.” Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a family physician and resilience expert, said that a desk serves as a reminder about expectations.

“Even in a small space, a desk gives you a place that when you sit there, it says ‘school,'” Gilboa explained. “It’s sort of like how some kids change clothes before gym class. Changing what you’re wearing or where you are physically reminds you of your purpose.”

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