Schoolhouse Supplies Goes LEAN, Part II

kinf_main_logoLast week, we shared highlights from our “LEAN event,” during which we streamlined, organized, cleaned and painted in order to organize our volunteer sorting and tallying systems. This week, we’re back with an interview with Darren Haper, LEAN expert and Resource Center Specialist from the Kids in Need Foundation.

Special thanks to Target for their national sponsorship of the Kids In Need network of Resource Centers, for making resources like this possible for us and other teacher Resource Centers across the country. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to OfficeMax, as Darren’s staff position is supported through a grant from their organization, making the work we accomplished here- and the path we are now on- possible. Thank you, Target and OfficeMax for your belief in the work of the Kids In Need Foundation and fellow Resource Centers in the National Network!

How many LEAN events have you done in Free Stores across the country?
I have currently been a part of or conducted 11 events since my involvement with Lean.

Do you have a favorite memory from our LEAN event?
I would have to say it was the brainstorming session. There were tons of ideas being tossed out but nothing was really coming together. Just when we thought this may go on the entire day, an idea emerged and we began building onto it. Just like that, everything fell into place. I love it when a plan comes together.

What’s the most important piece of advice you can share with us as we continue improving?
Make time for smaller projects to keep your team engaged in the overall process. As improvements are made, it is important for the leader of the organization to occasionally check to see if their team is sustaining the changes.

What’s your favorite section (or school supply) in the Free Store, and why?
I would have to say the arts and crafts section. I’m an artist and love anything arts related.

What was your favorite school supply when you were a kid?
Crayons. I went through a brief period where the metallic crayons were my favorite. There was just something about the shimmery silver, copper, and gold crayons that I found irresistible.


Stay tuned for more updates on our progress in the coming weeks. And thank you again to the Kids in Need Foundation for making this incredible resource a reality for us!

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