It’s that time of year again: time to get the kids off to school every morning, prepare their bags the night before, make sure their clothes are ready and their supplies are in order. For some parents this can prove to be very challenging as what seems to be the simple act of getting school supplies can leave them wondering how on earth they will do it.
In my home, we hear about this all too often. As I mentioned before, my husband teaches elementary school and many parents can’t afford what most of us consider “basic school supplies” for their children. We often buy school supplies when they are on sale so he has extra in his classroom for those who need it. I was thrilled when we had the chance to participate in the #BagItForward and the #Champions4Kids campaign this year because I knew there were students who would need our help! This Elmer’s Simple Service Project encourages us to become Champions for Kids by helping them with their basic needs to be successful in the classroom.
If you remember my post last week about our shopping trip for school supplies, I mentioned we were able to buy supplies for EIGHT children with less than $30! You can check out our photo story of this trip in our Google+ album. This really is the best time of year to get deals and you can help so many children with a small donation! You can see the Elmer’s two pack of glue sticks are just .50 at Walmart!! What a great price and students in elementary school use these often!
See all that we were able to buy:
Here’s a close up of each box’s supplies:
Each student will receive the following: 2 Elmer’s glue sticks, a box of crayons, two pencils, three erasers, scissors, a ruler and a folder.
Because we are donating these to my husband’s students and they do not start school until Tuesday I do not have pictures of us donating them. I will be adding pictures to this post so please stay tuned! You’ll want to see how excited they are! In the meantime, I wanted to share with you some of the first handed experience of my husband and what he experiences with students in the classroom to give you an idea of how much you really can help! I did a little Q & A with him!
Q: How long have you been teaching?
A: 12 years
Q: On average, what percentage of students have 100% of what they need in supplies?
A: Most students do not have everything they need. They will come to school without a few things, regardless. What is sad is this: more than half of my students last year came to school without crayons and colored pencils and we are talking about first grade where we use these items daily.
Q: What supplies do you find students lack the most?
It is a combination of crayons, pencils and notebook paper.
Q: What time of the school year are school supplies lacking the most?
The middle and end of the school year. It seems that parents expect to buy things at the beginning of the year and with the sales I think it allows them to. When they get further into the school year they just don’t budget for extra stuff and the kids don’t get things throughout the year. Parents, many times, don’t take into account that their kids will lose things, break things and things need to be replenished throughout the year.
Q: How many students and/or parents admit to you that they cannot afford supplies?
Last year I had about 10 students tell me at the beginning of the school year that their parents couldn’t afford their supplies. Granted, we live in Michigan and our state has been hit hard as far as the economy, but this was the highest amount I’ve had tell me that in all the years I’ve taught. Parents don’t like to admit it, but the kids will tell you that is the reason they don’t have supplies.
I wanted to just ask him a few things to give you an idea of why I felt in my heart donating to his students was the right thing to do. I hear about these things throughout the school year and it breaks my heart that a first grader doesn’t have colored pencils or crayons to complete his work. #BagItForward is an amazing campaign and I am so glad it can touch the lives of my husband’s students!
As you are putting your #bagitforward plans together, follow Champions for Kids on Twitter andFacebook to learn more and read inspirational stories of others participating. Elmer’s is also the big part of this program, let’s show them some love on Twitter (@elmers) and Facebook, too! What are your Bag it Forward plans?
UPDATE: We donated the supplies! Check it out here.
Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Champions for Kids #CBias #SocialFabric