It has never been the intention of this blog to enter the political arena by commenting on events or offering an opinion other than the quality of a pen or a pencil. However, as we enter the period where stores are pushing their ‘back to school’ lines, a couple of articles caught our eye and we thought they might be of interest to our readers.
In Edmonton , a lady wrote a letter to her local newspaper listing the supplies that her family had been requested to supply for her grandson to take with him to Grade 1 class. The list included six white erasers, 12 glue sticks, 24 HB pencils, two sets of 24 wax crayons, as well as 24 pencil crayons and 12 felt markers, among other things such as scribblers, Duo-tangs, scissors (Fiskars), Kleenex and Ziploc bags.
The cost of these items amounted to $100(£70) and she made the point that not only was this putting major strain upon the household budget but that “excessive number of erasers, glue sticks, and pencils simply encourages waste, which is not a lesson that we want children to learn”.
On a less serious note, I would also suggest that this type of requirement is likely to be the foundation for the spending many of us incur throughout our lives for our love of pens and pencils!
It crossed my mind however, that if everybody was being asked to provide the same for their child, it might be an idea for the parents to get together and combine an order and buy bulk. I have no doubt that there would be discounts they could get.
At the other end of the spectrum, I also spotted this article about the KidSmart Free Store down in St Louis. Apparently there are more than 90,000 students in St. Louis who cannot afford basic school supplies and KidSmart helps by providing supplies free of charge.
Donations from individuals and businesses help keep the shelves stocked with everything from crayons, markers and glue to business surplus items such as binders, envelopes and promotional items. Once a month, supplies are distributed through teachers who in turn pass the materials directly to the kids in need. To qualify schools have to meet a requirement of having a minimum level of children on schemes like the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program