The coronavirus pandemic has hit everyone hard, and kids especially are suffering from a lack of normality in their lives. Many students have had to participate in remote learning, doing their lessons online via Zoom calls and applications like Google Classroom, missing out on vital face-to-face time with teachers and classmates. Making it even harder for some families is the lack of space in their homes at which the kids can work and learn efficiently. That’s where Iowa teacher Nate Evans comes in.
- Evans is a 7th grade literacy teacher in Ankeny. Most of his classes since the COVID-19 pandemic began have been held remotely, so he sees firsthand just how much many of the students were struggling in their new at-home “classrooms.” To make things easier for everyone, he hatched a pretty incredible plan.
- He began building wooden desks from scratch and delivering them to his students. Realizing that many of his students didn’t have desks at which to work, Evans started using his free time and his woodworking skills to build the furniture himself and drop it off at his students’ houses, free of charge. “I took a shot in the dark and thought that if I could make a dozen or so, that would be great,” he told the Des Moines Register of the project’s inception.
- What a wonderful way to help kids in need. The desks, which are hand-built with wood and then painted on the top with vivid color, are vital learning devices for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have the means to get one. “It’s for kids who have absolutely nothing to kids who have everything they’ve wanted but don’t have this space because it wasn’t available,” Evans explained to Good Morning America. “Somebody had to provide it and I thought, ‘Why not me?'”
- Now, Evans has built more than 600 desks for students. He didn’t do it alone, of course. More than 50 volunteers have come forward to help out with the building, and they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Dubbing the project Woodworking with a Purpose, the group of wonderful volunteers is aiming to make and distribute thousands of desks to students to make remote learning more successful and efficient. He even has support from the Ankeny Christian Church and the CORE Foundation to help! What an incredible teacher and a wonderful guy.