The concept of T4T began in 2004 when Steve and Kathy Stanton started taking their own manufacturing byproducts and overruns to their son’s preschool to be used in class projects. These were things from their specialty packaging factory, like die-cut cardboard hearts, ribbons, and long cardboard tubes. The children loved the materials and found many creative ways to use them. In fact, they came up with many more ways to play with the items than most adults could ever imagine! It was a wonderful lesson for the Stantons in how naturally resourceful and imaginative young children are.
From there, the Stantons got to thinking, “hmm… there are probably many other manufacturers throughout L.A. with their own cast-offs, who might like to donate those materials”, and that is how our business model was born. The T4T of 2014 has expanded quite a bit since our early days. We are still collecting manufacturer cast-offs from a variety of donors, but the scope of what we do with them has taken off. We now offer professional development workshops for teachers, science & engineering outreach programs in the community, hands-on learning opportunities in our maker-space, and custom-built S.T.E.A.M. labs in schools. And this is all thanks to re-imagining what others leave behind and consider ‘trash’. We are looking forward to seeing what the future will bring to T4T!