PHOTO PROVIDED Andrew Moreland and Conrad Hulen delivered 30 homemade desks to students at Two Rivers-Dos Ríos Elementary School.
SPRINGFIELD – At the end of October, business partners and woodworkers Andrew Moreland and Conrad Hulen delivered 30 homemade desks to students at Two Rivers-Dos Ríos Elementary School. This brings the total number of donated desks to 50.
Two Rivers-Dos Ríos principal Charlie Jett said that when kids went into comprehensive distance learning, although families were trying their best, students would attend classes while in bed or on couches.
“Students really need a designated workspace where they can focus on school,” Jett said. “They can actually have the mindset that, ‘This is where I do my schoolwork.’”
That is how Moreland and Hulen got involved. Hulen said Moreland stumbled upon a YouTube video about how to make small desks and Moreland said, “I can make that.”
“I’ve got some extra plywood and a couple of two-by-fours laying around, and I’ll look to see if there is a need in the community,” Moreland said.
The two built five desks and posted pictures on the internet. When a co-worker saw the post they asked if they could get one for their student at Two Rivers-Dos Ríos Elementary School. From there, Moreland and Hulen were put into contact with Jett.
“One day at pickup, I was handed a business card from a parent who said here’s a gentleman who is making free desks,” said Jett. “Oh, my goodness, this is incredible. So, I called Andrew.”
Teachers then identified students who would benefit from having a workspace and submitted requests. Hulen said the need was “a lot bigger than any of us anticipated.”
Although they are proud of their work, Hulen and Moreland can’t fill the demand of students needing desks.
“Our call to action is, you don’t need to build 30 or 50 desks to actually have an impact, even if you have the ability to build one,” Moreland said. “It’s a quarter sheet of plywood and one eight-foot two-by-four.”