As Students Feel Boxed In, The Paper Industry Is Here For The Boys & Girls Club In Harlem

With millions of students across the country forced to study from home during the COVID crisis, the Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds® campaign.

The campaign launched a joint partnership to provide students with desks for steady, dedicated learning space.In partnership with sustainable design house GoKarton®, the paper industry pilot program donates 200 lightweight, easy to assemble, and recyclable cardboard desks to families of the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem, NY.

As students adjust to distance learning, many lack the basic resources they need to do so effectively, putting pressure on both children and parents. With the situation unlikely to change immediately, the key is finding affordable, scalable ways to deliver the essentials to those in need.

Corrugated desks are strong, sturdy, and can be produced quickly, providing an effective and sustainable solution for students lacking a dedicated space where they can focus on their schoolwork.

“I think there’s an assumption that every child has an at-home set up with their own desk and school supplies. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case,”

“I think there’s an assumption that every child has an at-home set up with their own desk and school supplies. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case,” said Mary Anne Hansan, president of the Paper and Packaging Board. “As so many are working to provide students without access to the tech needed for online learning, we’re doing what we can to pair it with analog considerations like a dedicated workspace and writing tools necessary for a child’s education.”

Research shows a designated space of one’s own gives students a sense of control and ownership of their learning; a designated workspace is an essential part of this personalized approach.

With New York City schools shifting to distance learning for the remainder of the school year, community leaders are turning their eye toward providing consistency and resources for those who traditionally have less access and buying power.

“For the students in our communities, being out of school is in no way a free ride. These are kids with big goals who want to keep learning, but many are finding it tough without the proper equipment,” said Dominique R. Jones, Executive Director Boys & Girls Club of Harlem. “We can’t expect children to focus and take ownership of their learning while at home without a designated workspace – it’s truly essential.”

In addition to desks and notebooks provided by the paper industry, the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem is working to provide other essentials, such as pantry bags and school supplies, to support members and their families to help ease some of the challenges that families will have in the weeks and months ahead.

Go to bgcharlem.org to learn how you can help.


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The Paper and Packaging Board promotes the use of paper products and paper-based packaging by highlighting the value they bring to our daily lives. More than 40 U.S. manufacturers and importers collectively fund the national marketing campaign, Paper & Packaging – How Life Unfolds® howlifeunfolds.com.

For forty years, the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem has proudly served the youth and community of Harlem. They are attuned to the specific needs of the Harlem community. BGCHarlem fills the gap between school and home by providing a positive, welcoming environment where kids and teens can have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with their peers and caring adults.

Their mission is to provide access and opportunities for youth to reach their full potential as responsible members of the community. They believe success is within reach of every young person that walks through our doors. Their kids benefit from training, caring, professional staff and volunteers who help them take control of their lives, envision productive futures, and reach their goals.

GoKarton® provides 100% recyclable, eco-friendly corrugated desks. Launched in 2014, GoKarton has produced pieces for trade show booths, pop up stores and sporting events.gokarton.com

About Harlem World Magazine

Harlem World Magazine is a lifestyle and brand for anyone who has a Harlem state of mind, dedicated to news, history, the renaissance and stories that celebrate our lifestyle.

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