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Casey Bingham

by Alice Carroll

The unique stories of every shopper at the Scrap Exchange are powerful testimonies of how our non- profit organization impacts the Durham community. Casey Bingham shared her connection to the store and how it has transformed her experience as a teacher. Without further ado, this is the lovely Casey Bingham’s relationship with the Scrap Exchange! 

“I’m here almost every Friday because I’m an elementary school art teacher and I like to just look through and see what’s here that I can use in the room and I do what’s called TAB, teaching artistic behavior. It’s a new kind of art class that’s more student choice based so it’s kind of like the Scrap Exchange things that you guys hold for kids it’s kind of like that. So, I like to come in here and get a few things and just organization stuff to keep us organized. And I also just like to see what I can find for my own like making stuff. So that’s why I’m here, just picking up some things! 

I probably started shopping here like a year and a half ago. I kind of didn’t know it existed. I lived here forever but I just didn’t know about it and then when I was in college, they had a program called Room 13, which was like even more freedom in a space because it was an afterschool program. They were doing research about how kids make things and what they need to learn how to be creative.

I love half-used stuff because it has history. I love everything!

Casey Bingham

And so, the person who ran that would come here. She lives in Boone, but she would travel here all the way from Boone every month or so to get stuff. So, when I moved back after school I was like “Oh! Well this place exists so I should shop there!” I just like the recycled concept because it’s like really wasteful on the scale of like a thousand students that I teach it’s a lot of materials. I like to try and use stuff that’s recycled if I can. 

The first thing I found were these carpet samples. Those are what I use for the kids to sit on when they come into the classroom. I have like thirty-five of them and that’s honestly the structure of my entire classroom. I honestly don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have those carpets and I haven’t seen anything like that here since then. It was kind of like I happened to be in the right place at the right time when I needed that solution. I was like “Oh, this will work!” so I grabbed those. I was able to tape the edges of the carpet squares so they wouldn’t unravel. Then I ended up using the colors of the tape as a management system, so it worked out really well.” 

November 2019