Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2022

In honor of father’s day this Sunday, we are revamping a few stories that celebrate the inspiring dads out there in the world, empower dads, or highlight the incredible experience of fatherhood.

Learning and teaching from home

Taking classes or working from home without the luxury of a home office means trying to navigate the day from your couch or dining room table while attempting to ignore distractions from family members, roommates, or pets. For kids transitioning to online learning, the lack of an adequate learning space in their home is a big issue. Fortunately, parents in Maryland are stepping up to create workspaces for children through the fast-growing “Desks by Dads” initiative. 

Started by parents of three Jessica and Al Berrellez, Desks by Dads was launched as a Facebook group to connect handy parents with kids in need of a functional workspace for virtual school. Jessica, a local teacher, noticed that many of her students lacked a functional workspace, so Al came up with a simple blueprint for a desk that can be built in about an hour for just $40. 

The movement began to grow after Al shared the blueprint on Facebook and encouraged other dads to join in the movement. Now, more than two dozen home-built desks have been delivered to the Berrellez’s house for donation to children in the community. 

Al notes that the burden of at-home education often falls on mothers, but Desks by Dads is a great way for fathers to get involved and contribute to supporting their children’s education. Although it started as a small passion project, the Berrellez family is excited to see it grow into a larger movement. 

As we have discussed in our stories about bridging the digital divide, online learning disproportionately disadvantages lower-income students who may not have access to educational resources like the internet, technology, and quiet learning space at home. Desks by Dads is stepping up to even the academic playing field by ensuring that all children in their community have a functional personal workspace at home.

This article was originally published on September 23, 2020. 

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