Novi district loaning desks, chairs to families to help better connect kids with school

Wondering how kids could learn better at home? Make their home feel like school.  

Novi Schools is working with moving trucks to bring school desks and chairs to kids’ homes so they feel like they are in class while Zooming. Other districts now learning from Novi and starting the same thing. 

Dr. RJ Webber, the assistant superintendent of Novi Community Schools, said the idea was born when he was thinking about a way for parents to pick up the school furniture to use at home. 

"This is very important in our minds: how do we connect kids, some of which have been away from school since March 12, with their school? And when they get to sit in a chair that was the chair they sat in the previous year, at a desk, that was a desk they had used, it brings a little bit more normalcy to their life in a little bit more predictability and consistency," Dr. Webber said. 

The school officials then decided they'd use some of their COVID relief money to hire a moving company to deliver the school furniture to the families. 

"We have about 400 students who have benefitted from this and I think over 300 families who took part in that first wave of it, the feedback has been exceptional. And, if we can mitigate a little bit of the harm and a little bit of the difficulty that families are facing right now through COVID and distant learning, that's something we want to do," Dr. Webber said. 

The idea has taken off and now other cities in metro Detroit, such as Garden City, are trying to implement the same program in their school district