Caregiver shares work skills at school

Eugene | Springfield | March 12, 2018
Sorting to shining to sustaining

After Erin Davis learned the “5S” approach in her work as a pharmacist for Home Infusion at PeaceHealth in Springfield, Oregon, she knew she could use it in other areas of her life.

A technique from Japan, the “5S” name stands for five steps to organize work. Each step starts with an “s” both in English and Japanese: sort (seiri), set in order (seiton), shine (seiso), standardize  (seiketsu) and sustain (shitsuke).

In fall 2017, Erin started sharing her 5S training in her capacity as a volunteer at — appropriately enough — the Japanese Immersion School in Eugene, Oregon.

The school, which includes kindergarten to fifth grade, has been in the same location for 30 years so the library had become “somewhat of a time capsule” with about 18,000 books.

“Weeding out” old books and media has been a big push when the work began. “We finally said goodbye to cassette tapes and VHS,” she said

Erin, along with several other parents and the school library committee — an all-volunteer team — skillfully used the 5S lessons to make the place shine.

Since the library gets such heavy use (most students check out a Japanese book and an English book every week), teachers and students quickly took note, commenting on the “more welcoming environment.”

Photos from the Japanese Immersion School, including the colorful wall mural and garden sign, provided courtesy of Erin Davis.