WFU students paint desks to give to at-risk elementary school students
By Cheryl Walker
Wake Forest University students will paint desks April 13 to give to at-risk students at Old Town Elementary School. Each of about 40 Old Town students will get a colorful, custom-decorated desk. The project, D.E.S.K or Discovering Education through Student Knowledge, was started last spring by two Wake Forest students who, while tutoring at local schools, discovered that many students did not have a good place to do homework.
In addition to desks, the Wake Forest students will provide chairs, school supplies and tutoring help to the Old Town students.
In its second year, D.E.S.K. is co-chaired this year by Wake Forest juniors Parissa Jahromi and Innes Gamble.
Each desk will be painted by a team of four or five Wake Forest students between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the Magnolia Courtyard on the university campus. Each elementary school student will be matched up with a team and the team will decorate the desk based on the child's interests. The teams represent more than 30 student organizations ranging from fraternities and sororities to the field hockey team and the marching band. The outdoor event will include live music, games, a moonwalk, raffle prizes and food.
"Our idea is that every child needs a workspace in which to do their homework," Jahromi said. "It is our belief that if children have their own desk space and school supplies in their homes, they can develop good study habits."
The organizers plan to set up desks in the homes of 40 students. Old Town Elementary faculty and administrators identified children who could benefit from the program. Last year, D.E.S.K. provided 20 desks to Old Town students. Desks last year were painted with race cars, frogs, basketballs, Cinderella and many other creative designs.
After setting up the newly decorated desks in the children's homes, the Wake Forest students will visit each home to teach skills for organizing and completing schoolwork.