Students across the nation are preparing for their first day back to school. The start of a new school year is exciting and kids love getting their new clothes, backpacks, and lunch box ready. Getting ready for back to school is a huge financial responsibility for the parents. Thankfully a majority of counties offer Back to School sales and tax-free shopping days.
Even with the advantages of special sales and discounts, both parents and teachers alike have difficulties with being able to afford the costs of school items. Not every family is capable of providing their children with the items they need for the new school year. Not all teachers are provided the resources they need for a successful year and have to buy their own supplies out of pocket. Unfortunately, it is not fair to everyone and makes for a stressful start. The list of school supplies that is sent home with your child can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s not just notebooks and pencils anymore! Now it can consist of binders, folders, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, and calculators.
Check out these numbers!
Based on a recent survey, parents of elementary age to high school-age children will spend nearly $700, amounting in almost $30 billion in all, according to the National Retail Federation.
Families aren’t the only ones that struggle though; teachers are also confronted with their own set of challenges. They deal with budget cuts and lack of school funding, and at times this leaves them no choice but to spend their own money to be able to provide their students with everything that they need to succeed in the school year.
According to an article in The New York Times, a shocking “94 percent of public school teachers in the United States reported paying for supplies without reimbursement in the school year that straddled 2014 and 2015.” From out of their own pocket these teachers spent nearly $500 to over $1,000. The article also noted that the percentage did not differentiate from where the schools were located, nor the financial situations of the students.
Sadly this isn’t anything new, and this is an ongoing problem that seems to have no end in sight. There are ways that both families and teachers have found to make it through each school year, be it through donation programs or fundraisers.
Your company and BEST can help
If you are looking for a way your company can help, BEST offers a variety of team building programs to do just that. Want the members of your company be able to give back to this worthy cause? Your group will love one of our team building programs that benefit children and schools. Our We Care for Schools™, Build-a-Guitar®, and Kids Rock!™ are just three of our CSR, charitable programs which benefit local schools. These three corporate donation programs cater to schools and children in need and are an excellent way to have your group show their appreciation for educational providers, students, and administrators. Our Charitable Resource Manager will work closely with your meeting planner to research items needed and which schools or non-profits could benefit in your area. We love to customize programs, so if you have a specific item in mind, we could incorporate this into your program. All the items built will be donated to a local children’s organization, charity or school.
Our newest CSR program benefiting students is STEM Kits for Kids. STEM Backpacks for Kids is a heart-warming, charitable, team-building program devoted to promoting and emphasizing the importance of education in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
The program begins with a fun, high-energy icebreaker that will have your group laughing, celebrating, bonding, and readying themselves for the fun and rewarding experience ahead. Teams will engage in a series of activities and challenges to earn visits to the STEM store to find items for inclusion in the student backpacks.
The purpose of the STEM Backpacks for Kids donation is to give children, ages 5 to 10 years old, items that will spark their curiosity for learning and experimentation while gaining an understanding of the importance of STEM to their future success. In recent years, it has become popular to include Arts in the line-up resulting in the new acronym STE(A)M for this group of subjects.