Posts Tagged ‘kids school supplies’

Photo by Max Klingensmith

I walked into the classroom to find desks and chairs. Not a single book. Not a single curriculum guide. No paper, pencils, crayons or markers. Nothing. Just desks and chairs.

The school had been “blown up” the previous spring. The entire staff had been dismissed and all new teachers were hired. When I say all new, I mean approximately 85% of the teachers were brand new to teaching. 97% of the students qualified for free & reduced lunch. I was told that students would come to school with very few school supplies, if any.

Overwhelmed by the vast emptiness of my classroom I went shopping. I bought dozens of spiral notebooks and folders. Boxes and boxes of pencils, crayons, and markers. Bottles of glue. Twenty pairs of scissors. Anything I could find that was reasonably cheap. I bought post-it notes, index cards, Sharpies, paper clips and even chalk. I went to library book sales and tag sales buying as many books as I could find.  I bought bulletin board borders and classroom decorations to make my classroom look cheerful and conducive to learning rather than the dark, dismal basement room it was.

My son's fourth grade supplies

Hundreds of dollars later my classroom was ready. Hundreds of dollars I had not yet made because the school year had not yet started. Hundreds of dollars I spent when I wouldn’t receive my first paycheck until mid-September.

Not one cent of that money did I ever get back from the school. It’s a good thing I didn’t go into teaching for the money.


Fortunately I teach in a school now where the majority of students can afford to bring in school supplies. I usually have a few parents who send in extra supplies for those who couldn’t and I truly appreciate those donations. Those few donations mean that I do not have to single out a child whose parents could not afford school supplies.

As you’re purchasing your children’s school supplies this year (or if you’re children are grown or yet to come), think about purchasing an extra box of crayons for 24 cents. Or a spiral notebook for 15 cents. A folder for 10 cents. For a few dollars you could purchase a notebook, a few folders, pencils, crayons and even a set of markers.

I’m sure your child’s school will appreciate the donations. For those of you without school-aged children, most stores like Target, Wal*Mart and grocery stores have donation bins set up to collect school supplies which are then sent out to various schools.

No, you probably won’t receive a thank you note in the mail for your donation. But know that your little act of kindness made a big difference for a child in school. I thank you for all of them.


Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: