Last year I had the opportunity to participate in the Elmer’s Bag It Forward campaign. I was able to get supplies for my classroom and also donate school supplies to a fellow teacher at my low-income school. It was a great way to prepare for the school year in my classroom and throughout my school with a back to school supplies donation!
Back to School Supplies Donation
Although I won’t be in the classroom this year, teaching and children are still very integral parts of who I am. Once a teacher, always a teacher it seems. So I wanted to join Champions for Kids for the #BagItForward campaign again this year and continue to help. Because I know there are always teachers, students, and schools in need.
My teaching partner from last year will be teaching special education preschool again this year. The program moved to a brand new school which is exciting but also brings some challenges. So I wanted to reach out to her and buy some of the supplies that we often ran out of last year.
One of the challenges of opening a brand new school is that there is not always money to buy smaller supplies that may be needed in the classrooms. The furniture and technology will all be new but teachers are often dependent on donations for some of the supplies that they might have been able to find in the supply closet at an older school.
These supplies are things like construction paper, washable paint, and extra basic supplies for students who may not be able to provide their own. As a teacher, we often provide for students without supplies out of our pocket.
For special education, we also have some other needs that other classrooms don’t always have. Items such as baby wipes often come out of our own pocket as well.
Working with Champions for Kids to give back is very important to me because I know there are so many children in my community in need. Anything I can do to make their school days better is something I want to do. Helping to make sure a classroom or two is fully prepared for the new school year is how my family and I can still reach out to kids even if I’m not their teacher this year.
Having the necessary supplies makes starting the new school year just a little bit easier. If a child is busy worrying about whether or not they have enough crayons or a new notebook, he or she won’t be able to focus on building those relationships that are important the first week and throughout the entire school year.
So I had a great time going shopping for supplies to help these students feel more prepared. You can see more about my shopping trip in my #BagItForward Google+ album.
Getting W involved at a young age is also very important to me. Even though he doesn’t go to school yet, he knows a lot about school supplies. We use them at home for crafts and he has also been to my classroom more than a few times. I had planned to put together two cute little baskets of supplies, one to give to my friend and one to donate to the classroom next door.
But then W got involved. He was very enthusiastic about packing the supplies to take up to the school. I couldn’t resist letting him help out. It’s the kind of involvement I want to encourage in him as he grows. Excitement towards giving to others is definitely something I aim to cultivate in my family.
So W helped me pack everything up and head over to the new school where my former teaching partner will be working this year. We walked into a classroom full of new furniture and boxes we had packed up at the end of last year. It was a bit of a mess but she was still excited to see us.
Providing supplies like baby wipes, watercolors, and washable paint for bigger projects helped her not to have to spend as much out of her own pocket to provide for her students. While many parents are often very generous in their donations to the classroom, they don’t always realize how quickly items like baby wipes are used.
So helping stock up on those items that aren’t thought of quite as often makes me feel like I am helping make an impact in the daily classroom life of all of the special education students in the program.
You can find out more about Champions for Kids and the Elmer’s Bag It Forward campaign to see how you can help kids in your area. I challenge you to pick up a few extra supplies when you’re out shopping this year and donate to a school in need! You can also find some creative ideas for donating supplies on the Bag It Forward Pinterest Board!
How do you prepare for back to school?
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 their client.