‘Desk for Kids’ initiative helping at-home learners

Local News

(WSYR-TV) — You may remember the Carusos, the Cicero couple who is making desks for schoolchildren. Well, they inspired a production systems teacher from Baldwinsville to incorporate the same mission in his classroom.

Jamie Cuyler is the man in charge, making it a class project to build four dozen desks for elementary students in the Baldwinsville School District.

I’m hoping it’ll give them a little bit of normalcy as far as being able to have their space to learn and to study and be able at the end of the day to put everything away.

Jamie Cuyler — Technology teacher at Baker High School

His students unanimously agreed to the idea. With their hybrid learning schedules, they are seeing the need every day.

“People on Zoom classes, just sitting in bed, sitting on the couch, sitting at the kitchen table,” said Mattison Phinney, a senior at Baker High School.

And when it comes to the design of the desks, Cuyler and his students were intentional. They wanted to make them foldable so students could make some room and put them away at home.

We have a lot of kids in apartments and if I’m in a small apartment, I have two children, I need to be able to put that desk away so that we could have a little bit of normal weekend time.

Jamie Cuyler — Technology teacher at Baker High School

Each cohort spends three days at school per week and when the others come in? They finish the job.

“It’s a nice transition to go from computers all day to, you know, working with your hands and getting right into it,” said Phinney.

“It’s an amazing experience and really teaching us how to work together and work hard to get something done,” said Dan Widrick, a senior at Baker High School.

This is something they couldn’t do without each other.

It’s just refreshing to see the kids, when they’re here, they want to be here. They’re super excited and I think this year put in perspective how much kids need to be in school — how much they enjoy being in school.

Jamie Cuyler — Technology teacher at Baker High School

All while helping out their community at the same time.

On top of getting some funding through the student council, the materials for the project came from discounts at Lowes and donations from Logs to Lumber, a local business.

Cuyler and a few of his students will be delivering the desks the week of Dec. 21.


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