I love the idea of brand new school supplies. There is just something exciting about opening a fresh box of crayons, having markers that work and a stack of blank notebooks. It means a fresh start and hope for organization and a great school year.
Unfortunately, the first public school we tried with Emma sucked the joy out of this experience. The supply list was so long. It included all of the standard stuff plus everything that the teacher was going to need for the year, but the school could not afford to supply. They even used a check list to make sure that each child donated every item on the list. Including cash donations for certain items that the teacher would be purchasing for us. We ended up spending a ton of money and sending our little kindergartener off to school with about twenty pounds worth of supplies. It was a sad sight. I understand that the public schools are short on funding. I know what it is like to live on a teacher’s salary and have to pay out of pocket for classroom supplies, but there has to be a better way!
This year we are trying a new school for both of our girls. The kindergarten supply list came in the mail and I was nervous to read it. However, this school takes a completely different approach to the supply list. They actually follow the education code, which states that the school, not the parent, is responsible for supplies that are essential for learning. Wow! What a relief. The letter suggested that I may want to supply a backpack for my child and that the classroom teacher would greatly appreciate donations like pencils, tissues, and baby wipes. The list was short. The items are on sale right now and there is no pressure to donate.
We just finished our school supply shopping for the girls. Many of the items we will keep at home for homework time and the rest will be donated. I imagine sending the girls to school with their backpacks and a small bag of donation items light enough for them to carry themselves. Thank you, Campus Canyon, for putting the joy back in the Back to School Shopping experience. I can get behind this approach and attitude towards donations. It makes me want to donate the things that the teachers are asking for.