Create Back-to-School Kits
Start the school year off right.
Back-to-school shopping for a child in need can be a great opportunity for a teachable moment with your own children. Plus, your generosity will help ensure that another child has everything needed to make the school year a success.
To find an organization that distributes school supplies, check volunteermatch.org or call Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services or Jewish Family Services. A social worker at your local school can also help you find an organization or obtain a list of desired items.
What you’ll need
- School supplies (pens, pencils, notebooks, ruler, folders, crayons, etc.)
- NOTE: Requirements might vary, so check with your chosen organization to make sure you’re on target.
- When shopping together for your child’s school supplies, pick up one extra of each item, or select items from the list you were given.
- Fill a backpack with your donated supplies.
- Deliver it to the organization.
- How would it feel if you went to school and didn’t have the supplies you needed?
- Why is it important to make sure kids are prepared for school?
- Do you think education matters? Why or why not?
- Making these kits is one way we can help someone do better in school. Do you remember a time when someone helped you learn?
- Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2009). Ages 4-8. A story that helps young children understand that education is a privilege.
- This Is the Way We Go to School: A Book about Children Around the World by Edith Baer (Scholastic, 1992). Ages 4-8. A book in rhyme about how various children get to school.
- My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children Around the World by Margriet Ruurs (Boyds Mills Press, 2002). Ages 9-12. A look at the many ways children receive books.
Take it further
- Each year when you purchase school supplies, make it a habit to purchase extra supplies to donate.
- Have your child make a “Have a Good School Year” card for the student in need and include it in the backpack.
- Expand your gift to include a bag of new socks or underwear, hand sanitizer, barrettes, facial tissue, or other things children need (or would like) to begin the new school year.