CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Hundreds of students and teachers in a southwest suburban school district now have special desks at home to help them with remote learning, thanks to a donation from a neighboring company.
In an effort to support students in need during the COVID-19 global pandemic, Florida-based home furnishings producer Twin Star Home announced that it has donated 500 desks to Chicago-area Bolingbrook High School and the Secondary Transition Experience Program (STEP), both part of the Valley View School District. Desks were delivered on May 7 and during the week of May 18. Twin Star Home has a distribution center in Joliet.
"During this trying time, the Valley View School District community is rallying around our belief that we're all in this together,” said Valley View School District 365U Assistant Superintendent of Schools Rachel Kinder, in a statement. “The generous donation of these desks from Twin Star Home is an outstanding example of how people are coming together to support each other's needs. We are grateful for Twin Star's kindness and generosity.”
Melanie Phelan, principal of the district's Secondary Transition Experience Program (STEP) campus, which serves special needs students, said many students were trying to do their e-learning work on dining room tables, kitchen tables, their beds, or their garages, because they did not have a proper desk.
"It really has given our students the ability to really be able to focus on their remote learning and have their own space, and just be able to learn to the best of their abilities throughout this unprecedented time," she said.
Phelan said some of the desks were given to teachers, who also had trouble finding a good place at home to do their work and conduct their classes.
Twin Star Home said any remaining desks can be used by the schools once in-person instruction resumes.
“With the challenges so many are facing because of this pandemic, it’s more important than ever to step up to help others,” said Lisa Cody, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Twin Star Home. “We hope these desks will make the home learning process easier and more successful for both students and teachers as they practice social distancing to prevent the spread of coronavirus.”