Back to School… What your student needs to put in their backpack that is NOT a school supply

Carolina Backpacks

Carolina Backpacks

WOW!  Is it me, or did this summer ‘fly by”?   Well, if it is August then that means just one thing to an educator/ parent/ retail store owner – BACK TO SCHOOL! 

Ahhh… the smell of new pencils, paper and notebooks! Oh wait- that was my memory from 30 years ago.. now in the year 2013 we have recollections of  the smell of a freshly unboxed iPad and earbuds!

Do we still have backpacks?  I hope so as I have amassed a list of what a student should put in their backpack that is NOT a school supply!

  1. A list of emergency contacts. Whether your students is 6 or 16, a list of emergency contacts can be a lifesaver. Don’t assume that the child will remember all their contacts  names, numbers and addresses. Also, having a cell phone is no guarantee either.
  2. List of any medications they are taking or any allergies. Consider using MediPal  to have all essential medical information on or in the backpack, itself.
  3. Emergency money for lunch or a cab ride home.  I still have a recurring nightmare of  when I was in second grade and had forgotten my lunch money.  My mom had to come and bring me lunch which wasn’t the bad part- it was the memory of our principal who was not the happiest “camper” in the world!  I would have rather skipped lunch then have to sit in the main office being “babysat”.. So, I always asked for emergency money after that!
  4. “Personal products” for your tween and teen girls- just in case
  5. Quarters- just in case an after school snack is needed
  6. Cell phone with spare charger or battery pack. Yes, I believe that students who are old enough to dial a phone responsibly and have after school activities should have a cell phone on them.
  7. Actual writing utensils- such as a pen and paper
  8. Calculator, if applicable
  9. BOOK-  YEP- I  said a BOOK.  This is to occupy their time when they have finished their work and need to do something constructive during free time. (Your student doesn’t like to read books? Try comics or a magazine)
  10.  Sense of humor, thick skin and information on how to get help (academic, emotional and other) , if needed.  School is tough and we all hope that our kids will come to us if they need some assistance. But, if  for some reason they feel they just can’t confide in a parent then they need to have some information on where help can be obtained.

In closing- there have been a few great commercials to remind us how our culture embraces BACK TO SCHOOL! My favorite is the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR commercial by STAPLES. Here is a list of some more favorites from KidsWorld.


 RADIO GUEST NEWS:  This week on the Louise Sattler Show are our friends from MATHLIBS.org.  and Shara Lawrence-Weiss from MommyPerks.com,

To learn about the MathLibs  program and how you can give them a boost click here:  MATHLibs KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN

Listen Live or via Download at 9pEt this Sunday HERE

Coming up: American Idol Top 10 – with Scott MacIntyre (LOVE his music and his story!)

When the Stock Market Impacts Back to School Shopping

It has been quite a week with the stock market acting like a roller coaster at SIX FLAGS. It doesn’t take a genius to know that all the recent negative economic events have had a huge impact on families and businesses.  And, if you doubt that fact simply walk in to a store that has aisles of unsold BACK TO SCHOOL products and then listen to the moms and kids running commentaries.

I recently overheard conversations at popular box stores that went like this… “Honey, let’s wait until we see if we REALLY NEED these folders”,  “We’ll pick up more supplies after we get paid on the 30th, so you will need to wait until the paycheck clears and see what we have left”,  “Not this year, we will all need to learn to do without new clothing”.

The situation is so dire for some that they are writing to online sites such EDUCATION.com asking where families can access the very basics of school supplies.  So, here is a list of what is being offered and how you can help.  Please feel free to add to this list to help others in your communities.

 STAPLES is offering a DO SOMETHING 101 Campaign

Local school districts often have donations and give assistance to students in need. Here is one example from BALTIMORE CITY SCHOOLS

WALMART has several events to help with charitable community donations such as this STUFF THE BUS  

Here is a blog about how to purchase supplies that cost practically nothing

My company SIGNING FAMILIES  donated our ASL folders and other products to area WASHINGTON DC schools.  If you are a small or large business owner will you join me by donating in your area, too?

YOUR SUGGESTION or DONATION can go HERE (actually in the comment section below)____________________

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