The Parent Teacher Club of McKay Elementary School hopes to raise $15,000 to give every student at the school a desk.

COURTESY PHOTO - A student working at cardboard desk. A parent teacher club hopes to raise $15,000 to give every student at McKay Elementary a cardboard desk.

Instead of students using a kitchen table, a bed or the floor to do schoolwork, a club in Beaverton is providing a solution made from cardboard.

In a press release on Monday, Sept. 7, the Parent Teacher Club of McKay Elementary School announced that it will be creating durable cardboard desks to be given to each student for the school year.

"By giving all students a designated and dynamic workspace, we are giving them a piece of autonomy, agency, and stability during times that continue to be unprecedented and ever-changing," said Emily VanMeter, a kindergarten teacher at McKay Elementary School. "Our youngest learners experiencing comprehensive distance learning as their first exposure to school alongside our oldest learners who are striving for independence during this time will all benefit from having this essential learning tool."

By Monday, Sept. 21, the club's GoFundMe page had raised $12,059 of the group's $15,000 goal.

The fund was created on Aug. 15 and lists 138 donors.

"We took inspiration from stories of newborn kits given to Finnish parents," said club member Ric Shewell. "From there, we thought about the kind of environment and furniture kids will need to be successful at home this year, and desks were the natural direction for this project."

Kate and Ryan Garrison, members of the McKay Parent Teacher Club and parents of a second-grader at McKay, worked on the design, then pitched it to local cardboard companies, said the announcement.

COURTESY PHOTO - A cardboard desk designed by the Parent Teacher Club of McKay Elementary School in Beaverton. The club has a fund to create the desks for students.

"They designed (the desks) with kids in mind — strong, space to decorate, and sized just for them," the club noted in a statement. "They have perfected the prototype, secured manufacturing, and are now raising funds to put the desks in production and into the homes of students."

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People can contribute to the club's fund at

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