NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A made-to-order piece for a classroom can be extremely costly, but a local nonprofit is doing custom work at a discount.
"Our mission is to try to assist and help Metro teachers and administrators with small carpentry projects that they are not necessarily able to purchase otherwise," said Ben Dodd, Nashville Tools For Schools Board Chair.
Three days a week, the Nashville Tools For Schools workshop on Foster Avenue is buzzing. At the moment, volunteers are working on four projects for Metro Schools.
The nonprofit gets materials at-cost and that's all they charge. Dodd gave an example of the savings that provides school employees.
"[A] particular project was going to cost maybe $600 or $700 if they bought it from wherever, and we were able to produce it for $120," Dodd said.
Priority schools, which are those that are the lowest performing in the district, get an additional 50% discount.
The group believes Nashville Tools For Schools is getting proposal after proposal because school employees don't have flexible budgets and therefore can't buy custom pieces for classrooms.
"I think it's an issue at all schools in our country to be honest. I honestly feel like we do not make public education the priority that I think it should be, and that priority being funding," Dodd said.
Nashville Tools For Schools is always accepting donations and looking for more volunteers. Next week, it will also participate in The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee's Big Payback which starts on May 4.
Since 2006, the nonprofit has completed more than 1,100 custom projects.