Canby Rotary Builds, Gives Away Desks for Home Learning

Thanks to the generosity of the Canby Rotary Club, 100 local students will soon be the proud owners of their very own desks — designed and custom-built by Rotary members to help ease some of the strain of distance learning.

“We just thought they could really use some dedicated space to be able to do their school work,” says Ray Keen, the club’s president-elect and also the director of The Canby Center, which is assisting in the project. “Right now, students are oftentimes working from the kitchen table or their bunk bed or anywhere they can find to do their school work.”

Canby Rotarian Ron Harris developed the design for a simple, compact and sturdy desk that can be easily moved and assembled, and invited small groups of club members to his wood shop over the course of a month to produce them.

“Every piece was hand-cut by a Rotarian,” says current club President Teresa Sasse. “It’s absolutely phenomenal. I’m very proud of our club.”

The desks include a smooth composite writing surface and storage bins loaded with school supplies — courtesy The Canby Center. Club members worked with Canby School District administrators and counselors to help identify those students who might benefit the most from an upgrade to their home classroom.

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“One of the nice parts is that these desks can be used no matter what mode of school we’re in,” Keen notes. “Even once we’re back to school, they can be used for homework.”

Keen estimated the cost of the 100 desk at $3,000, primarily the purchase of raw materials. All labor was donated by club volunteers.

The outreach has been so successful that other Rotary clubs have reached out to Canby for their designs and instructions — which the local group was only too happy to provide.

Distribution of the desks will take place early next month at The Canby Center.

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