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Schoolhouse Supplies Goes LEAN, Part II

April 10, 2013

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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Ann started volunteering at Schoolhouse Supplies in 2004 as part of a Hands On Greater Portland book sorting project that puts books into the hands of students through the Free Store for Teachers.  She loved standing inside the giant boxes… Read more »

Schoolhouse Supplies Snapshot Series: Jen Barth

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On One School Year with Schoolhouse…

June 22, 2012

by Rob Winike Tools for Schools! Studio Day! Celebrity Spelling Bee! At Schoolhouse Supplies the programs and events have names that are as colorful as the myriad of supplies that are collected and dispersed to Portland Public School students. After… Read more »

The Boeing Boys

May 25, 2012

It’s a Tuesday morning at Schoolhouse Supplies and that means the Boeing Boys are in the house and the building is alive with the sounds of carts being pulled, hammers tapping and supplies being sorted and stacked. The Boeing Boys,… Read more »