Over a year, U.S. teachers will spend more than $1 billion of their own money on classroom supplies. Even so, many schools, especially the neediest urban schools, continue to suffer from a lack of the basic supplies and enriching supplementary materials their students need. Keep those schools -- and their students and teachers -- in mind this year as you complete your holiday shopping!
What do teachers spend their hard-earned money on? Responding to an Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Poll, 26 percent of teachers said they spent money on such supplemental materials as videos, software, learning kits, and activity books; 25 percent bought basic needs such as pencils, paper, bandages, facial tissue, and food for hungry children; 22 percent purchased art supplies or science materials; 21 percent bought trade books to enrich their lessons and classroom activities.
On average, the QED study found, K-8 teachers spend more than $500 a year each on school supplies; new teachers spend about $700 a year. Even so, many schools, especially the neediest urban schools, continue to suffer from a lack of basic supplies and enriching supplementary materials that could greatly enhance the educational experience of their students.
Why not keep those schools -- and their students and teachers -- in mind this year as you complete your holiday shopping? Youll find that theyre a lot easier to buy for than those distant cousins youve been fretting over -- and a lot more grateful!
For the ultimate holiday gift, visit Adopt a Classroom. This educators answer to the Nordstroms catalog will send your $500 donation directly to a classroom of your choice or to a needy classroom in your area. In return, youll receive letters, artwork, and e-mail from your adopted students throughout the school year. Its the gift that keeps on giving back!
Looking for a slightly less expensive gift idea? Schools always need books -- lots and lots of books. If youre unsure of which books to buy, ask your favorite school to register its needs at the Amazon.com Wish List.
If you still cant find the right gift for the school on your list, why not help Santa out by taking a peek at the teachers wish list below. Youre sure to find something there in your price range and your gift to a school, unlike that Christmas tie you bought Cousin Charlie, is tax deductible!
If you cant afford to buy a gift this year, volunteer! Schools need tutors, career speakers, technology trainers, Webmasters, office helpers, pen pals, mentors, and more. And the gift of yourself is the best gift of all!