I stumbled across teacherwishlist.com while searching online for nearby volunteer opportunities a couple weeks ago. It was an interesting concept. Teachers upload a wishlist of classroom supplies for their students, parents or donors purchase the items to donate to the classrooms. Pretty simple.
Although I am not a parent, (pet-parents count too though!) I decided to check out the lists around me to see if I could help out with their needs. Once I entered my zip code, a search populated 10 schools within my area. I was somewhat surprised to only find 2 teachers, both from the same school, utilizing this site!
From their about page: In a recent survey of elementary and middle-school teachers, 71% reported spending an average of $462 per year out of their own pocket on classroom supplies and learning tools.* Teacher Wish List was created to thank teachers for their generosity. (How many other jobs require employees to pay for supplies?) This service makes it even easier for parents to continue to help teachers.
I guess most teachers aren’t aware that this site exists or maybe they feel a little strange asking for donations. I know some teachers send home a list of supplies that are needed for each student, so the responsibility then is on the parents to purchase the items. I see parents and kids roaming the aisles of Target and other local “everything” stores for their Back to School supplies, lists in hand!
The supplies that were on the lists I looked at on the site were for Preschool and Kindergarten classes. Tissues, paper towels, stickers, puzzles, etc. These items were specifically for the classroom — for everyone to use. The requested supplies were everyday items that I could pick up at Target and wouldn’t break my budget either. So I decided to help out. I emailed the teachers and let them know that I wanted to donate the items on their individual lists.
I went to 2 stores and found all the items and in total for both teacher’s lists it only cost about $65.
Target has this incredible dollar section right at the front entrance of the store. I found these and other age-group specific topics of cards, like geography, math, science, etc. But since I was purchasing for kids 6 and under, I felt these would be best suited for them.
Some may recognize these “Play Packs” from my haul video. You’re never too old to color!
I fondly remember making paper puppets out of white paper bags like these. You just glue a bunch of stuff on it, draw a happy face and then carefully stick your tiny 5 year old hand into it (not to open all the way) and ta-da! A new friend!
Both classes cheered for Silly Bands. I don’t get it, I must be getting old. But I’m glad the kids love them!
The teachers were both very grateful for my donation. We made small talk and I told them I was always interested in teaching, the younger kids especially. Who doesn’t want to play with little kids and color all day?! Have juice and crackers for snack time — omg, a designated snack time?! Yes! I love the order within the chaos and the little smiling face aren’t bad either.