So while there are LOTS of opinions about schools opening - the fact of the matter is they either are soon, or already have.
As I was typing this I got the call that our first day of actual virtual class will be a August 24th (not the 17th) because the first week will be for orientation/appointments/getting materials.
Even if they stay virtual there are lots and lots of kids out there who won't have the money in their household for school supplies (I know that headsets/ear things - why can't I remember what these are called) for computers are on lists now - and when classes return to in-person teachers are going to need more help than ever with classroom supplies.
Because now there can't just be a community crayon box where everyone can share.
Kids will have to have their own glue, markers, scissors, etc.
& while some of you are like, "Well, I buy my kids everything every year so this isn't a big deal," please remember that for some kids (like me several years when I was little and my mom was a single mom to three school aged kids getting zero child support) parents can barely pay bills - let alone buy the things on that school list.
More families than ever (in my lifetime at least) are struggling financially.
So if you are in a position to help, here's a list of things I've gathered after asking all of my teacher friends to tell me what kinds of supplies they could use.
For my part, I bought 3 sets of school supplies for their 1st Grade class as if I had three kiddos. All of those extra supplies will be given to the teacher even though we will remain virtual through the school year even if the schools open - if she/he needs them for their class, cool. If they know a kiddo needs them, awesome.
I also threw in a "thank you in advance" card - because I think teachers could use ALL of the kind words right now (especially from parents like me who are almmmost helicopter moms but try not to be).
I want to encourage my friends who are virtually learning this school year to still send supplies to their kid's teacher.
Home school friends? You probably know a teacher who could use help.
Friends without kids? Call the school closest to you and ask for supply lists.
Everyone knows at least one teacher.
I'll also add a disclaimer that in our schools teachers are only allowed to use specific cleaning products approved by/given to them by the county. So you should ask before buying cleaning supplies unless you're 100% okay with those supplies going to the teacher's house (which I'm okay with - I figure if they can use them at ALL it still helps out because healthy teachers = healthy kiddos).
Here's the list (sprinkled in here are actual requests that were said as jokes but I don't think they'd be sad about getting);
Plastic crayon boxes
Markers (thin tip and the big ones for little kids)
Crayons (any count)
3 ring binders
Folders (so many folders) - they heavy duty plastic kind with pockets
Scissors (kid friendly for lower grades)
Composition notebooks (the black and white kind)
Hand Sanitizer (I found some Germ-x - remember not all sanitizers are created equal)
Extra face masks for kids (disposable and in unopened boxes) (have y'all ever witnessed a Kindergarten kid sneeze out a snot bubble or throw up randomly?)
Ziploc bags of various sizes for student belongings
Individual snack items (versus a giant thing of pretzels) and drinks
A mini cooler stocked with Dr. Pepper
Copy Paper (I'm sure this will come in handy during virtual school)
Clorox wipes (lemon scented specifically in our counties we hear for allergy reasons)
Diverse books for classroom libraries
Books, period, for classroom libraries since they'll be quarantined after use for X amount of time vs passed around to another kid
ANY art supplies (like water color paints, packs of paintbrushes, finger paints, watercolor paper, etc)
Clorox bathroom cleaner (lemon scented again - but ask your specific schools if they are accepting any)
Starbucks gift cards/Dunkin gift cards - because coffee to cry into (nervous laugh)
Expo markers - thin and thick and the more colors the better for lower grades IMO
If you don't want to buy extra stuff - MANY teachers have Amazon wish lists and an amazon gift card, Wal-Mart gift card, Staples, Target, Etc for a teacher has never gone to waste.
Teachers, if I forgot something on this list or didn't think of something please drop a comment and I'll add to it !
PS; don't just drop things off at schools. Coordinate with the school/teachers before just coming by. Each school has different policies right now because of COVID.