School Supply Resources for Families

school crayonsWell, it’s that time of year again. The flyers, newspapers and TV commercials are abundantly sprinkled with the words, “Back to School Sale!”

First off, I want to know how we managed to arrive at the first week in August so soon? Wasn’t it just a week ago that school was dismissing and we had a long, lazy summer stretching out ahead of us? Well, I guess it only seems like it was a week ago.

But now the calendar page has definitely turned to August and, as if in one collective shout, we hear the message loud and clear. Summer is drawing to a close and we need to turn our focus to the upcoming school year.

As I mentioned earlier, Back to School sales are abundant and it’s a rare family who doesn’t try to take advantage of the savings. But how do you get a grip on the best deals on what is being offered out there for your back to school needs?

There are several great sites that provide links to current sales by major retailers and in some cases suggestions on how to best take advantage of each sale. Here’s a couple that you will definitely want to check out.

piggy bank and coinsFreebie Finding Mom

Passion for Saving

In addition to the many coupons and discounts that are offered on school supplies this time of year, there are additional resources that can help families in a financial pinch. I’ve put together a list of four places you or someone you know can turn for help.

  1. The Salvation Army is a great resource for families. Regarding help with school supplies, the Salvation Army has partnered with Target in sponsoring the Target School Spree Event that usually runs from July to September each year. Be sure to check if this event is held in your area.
  2. Don’t forget to contact your child’s school to see about the availability of school supplies. When I was a school secretary it was not unusual to have families express the need for assistance with supplies. Quite often a school will have anonymous donors who help out by giving bags of school supplies for students. Other times the school will partner with a local business that is willing to help out. It’s okay to politely ask and see if there’s any help available for your family.
  3. The Costco Free Backpack Program is a great resource for families. Each year Costco team members will contact schools in the area to see how many backpacks (with supplies included) might be needed when the students return.  Near or on the first day of school these backpacks become available for kids right at their school. You can check with your local Costco or your child’s school to see if they participate in the Free Backpack Program.
  4. Each year Boys and Girls Clubs of America host a school supply drive called Tools for Back-to-School. This is an online drive that, combined with donations from partners Disney, Michaels and Staples, provides school supplies for kids across the country. Supplies are delivered to the local Boys and Girls Clubs where families can request assistance. Contact your local club to see if they participate in this national program.

As you start looking around you will no doubt stumble upon numerous other ways to find free or discounted supplies for your child this school year. A major thing to remember is that kids need to be outfitted with the tools in order to participate in the busy work of learning. So be clear and diligent in your task and your child can go off to school on the first day armed with all the supplies he needs for success this coming school year.

In closing, I hope you have managed to have a great summer with your kids and have a whole list of new experiences with them under your belt. And here’s to a happy and successful school supply hunt for your family.

Cathie

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