Grade schools in low income communities are usually in short supply of extra school supplies for kids. While these schools can sometimes afford a few “no frills” back-to-school supplies to send home with students, it’s the costlier items that many students have to do without.
If you are interested in helping out a low income school district, donating a sack of these pricier school supplies can really make a difference. According to several rural school teachers who were interviewed for this article, the following items are ones that students and their classroom would enjoy receiving:
Donate a new back pack or two. Backpacks really are “must have” items for school kids but often cost more money than many low income families can manage. By watching the back-to-school sales, you should be able to find quality Bongo and Jansport backpacks for as cheap as $10. For better savings, shop the end of the season sales in the spring where these backpacks are marked down to $5 or less.
Insulated lunch sacks. Some low income rural school districts don’t have a lunch program and their students must bring sack lunches from home instead. An insulated lunch sack lowers the chance of food spoilage and is a better way for kids to pack a lunch than using an old grocery sack. Before buying a bunch of lunch bags, check with the school to see if this is a donation that their students can use.
Donate upgraded school supplies. The short list of back-to-school supplies for low income school districts includes washable markers, colored pencils, rulers, glue sticks, red correctable pens, scissors, composition books, and index cards. These are the costly items that all students should have, but low income schools can’t provide. Check out the back-to-school sales for the best sales prices of the year, and don’t be shy about buying too much.
Art supplies. While a school district can provide a few basic art supplies like tempura paint and construction paper, it’s things like painting aprons, crafting foam, glitter, wood painting kits, and other fun crafts that a low income school can’t afford to buy for their students. A box of fun art supplies is always a welcome donation for teachers and students alike.
Donate basic items that encourage good health. In low income school districts, especially mountainous regions that see nasty winter weather, a lot of low income kids go without warm clothes or enough to eat. One teacher noted that things like winter hats & gloves, sweat suits, gym shoes, toothbrushes, and things like hand sanitizer and boxes of facial tissue can promote good health. Donating healthy snacks such as boxed granola bars, breakfast bars, fruit cups and other boxed snack items also can make a difference.