Alexandria students surprised with custom-built desks for virtual learning


ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — Students were gifted desks to have a work station from home during the virtual school year on Thursday.

The desks were a part of a collaboration between Virginia Tech, problem-solving organization Building Momentum, and Alexandria City Public Schools.

The desks were delivered to students at Casa Chirilagua, a non-profit in a Latino-based neighborhood that serves more than 80 students.  

The surprise was truly a team effort — Building Momentum designed the desks, Virginia Tech students and alumni helped construct them, and the Carpenter’s Union donated the materials.   

The desks are essential for students to bring home with them, as some students in the community don’t have access to a workspace during the virtual school year.

“The education gap for this community,” said Lisa Aneiva, Development Director at Casa Chirilagua. “Students tend to fall behind academically and there are many barriers to their education. So being able to introduce a solution for this particular barrier of them not having a place to study, is so tremendously important for the academic success for these students.”  

Proceeds from the Alexandria Drive-In Theater, a project by Building Momentum, were used to help bring the idea of the desks to life. 

“Building Momentum and The Garden co-founded the drive-in with ALX Community, it’s a completely charity-driven drive-in and every single dollar goes to local charities, one of which is Athena Rapid Response, a charity that’s been sponsoring the desks,” said Allen Brooks, Chief Operating Officer for Building Momentum.

Thus far, a total of 70 desks have been donated to students to bring home. Dr. Lance Collins, V.P. and Executive Director for Virginia Tech Innovation Camps, says that they are just getting started.

“This isn’t going to stop right here. We are going to continue to work with the community,” said Collins.

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