Every year, about 94 percent of public school teachers spend their own money on basic classroom supplies, according to a 2018 National Center for Education Statistics survey.
Teachers are not only investing in materials such as pencils, books and paper, but also on basic sanitary items for the classroom. As education budgets continue to shrink, teachers are forced to dig even deeper into their own pockets each academic year to acquire supplies.
Fortunately, there are resources out there to help teachers secure those supplies without breaking the bank. The following is a list of businesses and websites that offer freebies for educators:
Amazon — The Amazon Wishlist feature offers an easily accessible and convenient way for parents to donate much-needed items to their child’s classroom. Teachers are encouraged to add a variety of needed supplies to their wish list to leave it up to parents to decide which purchases agree with their budgets. amazon.com
AdoptAClassroom — This nonprofit has channeled more than $21 million in donations to classrooms across the country, making a difference for more than 5 million students since its inception in 1998. One hundred percent of donations go to registered classrooms via an online credit system. Register your classroom by filling out an online form with basic information and a description of your needs, and you could be paired with local and national donors to fund classroom projects. adoptaclassroom.org
Crayola Educator Page — Offers art techniques, downloads and special offers such as a grant program for elementary schools for $2,500. crayola.com
DonorsChoose — Available for public school classrooms, teachers register to receive donations from individuals to help pay for classroom projects, supplies and even musical instruments. Teachers who submit projects for funding may also be eligible for a variety of funding opportunities through corporate-matching programs. donorschoose.org/teachers
Freaky Freddies — Links to free materials, including books, DVDs, posters and magazine subscriptions. Don’t let the name scare you! freakyfreddies.com/teacher
MySavings — Links to free sample books, CDs and DVDs, as well as calendars, posters and product samples. mysavings.com/free-stuff-freebies/other-teacher-freebies
National Education Association 10 Free Things List — Updated monthly, the list is beneficial to teachers, offering lesson plans, instructional videos, downloads and more. nea.org/tools/10FreeThings.html
Public library — At the discretion of the manager of each branch, some offer books for free to teachers who want to use them for their classrooms. Ask the manager of your local branch if the library offers free or discounted books for teachers with valid school IDs.
Supply Our Schools — An online registry designed to match donors with the needs of students in underprivileged school districts. Teachers create a supply list, donors purchase items off the list and the items are shipped to the teachers. supplyourschools.org.
TeacherLists.com — The site’s Tell-a-Teacher Referral Program rewards teachers with free school supplies from TeacherLists.com’s sponsors in return for spreading the word about the website to colleagues.
The Wish List Depot — With the required eligibility, teachers can get free necessary school supplies year-round in person at the Wish List Depot or through the online shop. This organization is geared toward helping teachers provide basic learning essentials for students in need. wishlistdepot.org JN