How do I Choose the Best Free School Supplies?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 17 February 2020
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Determining how to properly select free school supplies to give to teachers or students can take a little work, but can be well worth the effort involved. It’s certainly true that many families are pressed for money these days and may benefit from free school supplies that are donated by large or small organizations. Teachers may be similarly circumstanced by the need to purchase many classroom supplies out of their own pockets.

Obviously, anyone trying to select the best free school supplies wants to give what is most needed to prevent extra spending on the part of teachers or students, and one of the best ways to begin to determine what a school supply list would look like is to ask teachers. In addition to buying supplies for their classroom, they also ask tell students what things they’ll need to bring to school or they may have to give these supplies to students who can’t afford them.


It is difficult to try to match supplies to a number of different grades; the differences between grade 2 and grade 12 would be highly significant. Part of the decision may be to narrow down choices to either grammar or secondary school so supplies are not that diverse. With a list from a couple of area teachers in those specific grades, people can start shopping. Many programs like Backpacks for Education also create reasonable lists that can be followed. Some of the main needs could include: paper, notebooks, binders, folders, pencils and pens, pencil sharpeners, post-its®, and erasers. Extra supplies that may be prove useful are colored pencils or crayons, felt tip markers and highlighters, safety or child scissors, rulers, spiral notebooks or graph paper, and glue.

Note that that these items when used as free school supplies could be for a single teacher or for individual students. Another way to help teachers get free school supplies is by participating on websites where teachers have wish lists. It may be that people or businesses want to more generally help a single classroom, even it is has no personal connection to them. Programs like Adopt-a-Classroom can allow people to donate free school supplies or money toward the purchase of needed classroom items in schools all around the country. Other teacher wish programs exist that people may hear about in communities, on the Internet or from a child’s school. Most of the time, requests are specific, so choosing school supplies may not be that difficult.



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