SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Eastman Chemical Company will distribute about 1,500 lap desks to Springfield Public School students this week to help make remote learning more comfortable.
The desks were donated by Eastman, a Tennessee-based specialty materials company with a manufacturing plant located in Springfield’s Indian Orchard neighborhood.
Elias Brookings Elementary School Adjustment Counselor Gianna Allentuck, who serves as a member of Eastman’s Community Advisory Panel, urged the production of the desks.
According to a news release sent to 22News, during the conversation, Allentuck explained that since having to switch to remote learning, many students were not equipped with desks at home. Shawn Pace, site manager of the Indian Orchard plant, said that upon learning of the need, the company “stepped up to help without hesitation.”
“It’s exactly what so many of our students need. It will give them a sturdy desk to place their computer on and to do work on rather than a mattress or using their laps, which many are doing now. I’d like to personally thank Eastman on behalf of our students for this amazing donation,” Allentuck said.
The lap desks are made of Eastman Spectar copolyester, a premier product for creating durable, sustainable applications, including point-of-purchase displays, shelving systems, and sanitary barriers. The desks are designed for comfort and usefulness and can be placed on a bed or couch.
Mayor Domenic Sarno, Superintendent Daniel Warwick, Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez, and Allentuck all thanked Eastman Chemical Company for their donation at 10:15 a.m. Thursday.
“Once again our friends at Eastman have stepped up to the plate to help our community. I am deeply appreciative and thankful to Eastman Corp. site manager Shawn Pace and his leadership team for their generosity and compassion as we continue to work together to mitigate and defeat this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. These desks will go a long way in helping our students and families. I also want to thank Gianna Allentuck for her continued and unyielding efforts on behalf of our students. Superintendent Warwick and I are truly thankful to Shawn Pace and his team at Eastman for their continued commitment to our Springfield community,” Mayor sarno said in a news release sent to 22News.
Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick thanked Eastman, Allentuck, and Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez.
“It is very rare to have a donor actually set out to produce a product that has been pinpointed as a real need for our students. We are so very grateful to Eastman. We understand the tremendous amount of resources they poured into this project, which will make the learning experience so much better for our students,” Warwick said.
Desks are being distributed this week on a first-come, first-serve basis during regular meal distribution hours at Putnam, Chestnut, Rebecca Johnson, and Milton Bradley schools.
22News is covering this story and will provide an update on 22New starting at 5PM.