Classroom items in high demand as schools reopen virtually

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Many Mid-South parents are realizing it’s tough to find classroom items like desks and chairs.

FOX13 talked to parents about some of the hurdles they’ve faced this year.

Some parents said it was easy trying to find things like notebooks and pencils but trying to find children’s desks especially if you had multiple students was a challenge and if they found desks, they were very expensive.

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“My kitchen has become a learning area for my younger two babies, " said parent Christina Macklin.

Kitchens and living rooms across the Mid-South have been transformed into classrooms.

But finding all the supplies for these remote learning areas hasn’t been easy.

Google trends shows searches in Tennessee for children’s desks spiked in early August, which is around the same time many districts including Shelby County Schools announced virtual learning for the fall.

When you search some of the big-name retailers like Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Ikea for children’s desks and chairs, you’ll often find these items are out of stock or they won’t be available for several weeks.

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“We are doing everything we can to address any COVID-related impact to our supply chain to get more of these much-needed products back into the store,” said an IKEA U.S. spokesperson. “Due to system updates and high demand, there is a chance that an item with low stock may not be available for purchase. We hope to have more inventory very soon to support students and families in Memphis.”

But other parents like Macklin faced other hurdles.

“This year isn’t not about us not being able to find the items, it’s not having the funds to purchase them,” Macklin told FOX13.

Macklin has five daughters in charter schools throughout Memphis.

“I think it’s hotel to homes, they have some desk or they get them in quite frequently - the thing is they’re $40 for a single desk and me with five kids – $40 times 5 is $200,” said Macklin.

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Similar to digital devices, Macklin said she believes some of the school districts should have offered school desks for families too.

“Hey, if you need the desk come get them, the kids aren’t in schools,” she said. “How come someone couldn’t come to us and say hey if you need the desk come get them and we’ll distribute them out to you that way it wouldn’t be so hard, just like they did with the laptops? We can send them back.”

If you’re still looking for classroom items, some online reports suggest checking resale websites like Facebook Marketplace and Ebay.

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