Christa Geraghty | 

How to Score Free School Supplies and Resources for Teachers

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Finding free school supplies for teachers is challenging, but not impossible. And though it may be a bit of work, it's certainly worth it. Especially since tight school budgets often cause teachers to dip into their pockets for school supplies.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for school supplies increased 18.1 between August 2020 and August 2023. On average, teachers spend $500 - $750 of their own money a year on school supplies.

That’s $41 to $62 a month, which we all know can make a huge difference these days with food prices and gas prices at record levels. To help reduce this burden, we searched for and found several organizations and resources that give free stuff to teachers.

From back-to-school season to teacher appreciation week near the end of the school year, these back-to-school teacher freebies will help teachers all year long. Along with these tips for free supplies, Michaels, Target, and Dollar General offer discounts exclusively for teachers. So even if you do need to spend out of pocket, you can at least score a deal on the classroom essentials.

For more smart shopping tips and savings hacks, download the Krazy Coupon Lady app or text HACKS to 57299.

1. Register For Colgate Classroom Kits for Kindergarten & First Grade Teachers

a person looking at the Colgate program on their iphone

Colgate is offering their Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program which donates classroom kits to help teach good oral care. These free kits come with storybooks, posters, and Colgate toothpaste and toothbrush samples for 24 kindergarten or first-grade students.

To register, simply visit and fill out the request form now before they close the registration.

2. Kids In Need Foundation Supply A Teacher Program provides teachers with free school supplies.

Some Pen + Gear school supplies in a Walmart cart.

Kids In Need Foundation provides teachers with school supplies for free through their Supply A Teacher Foundation Program. Teachers working in schools with 50% or more students enrolled in the National School Lunch Program may apply for a Supply A Teacher box. Each box is based on grade level and contains enough supplies for 24 students, which may include:

Teacher applications are accepted year-round, and whether you’re teaching in the classroom or through distance learning doesn’t matter.

3. Adopt A Classroom donates free school supplies to teachers.

A box filled with school supplies including pencils, mechanical pencils, and glue sticks.

For grades PreK – 12, public, private, or charter school teachers can register with Adopt A Classroom and create a Classroom Fundraising page to connect to their network of donors. Through the School Program at Adopt A Classroom, schools receive funds that they can spend on bulk school supplies through their online marketplace. Both programs require teachers or school administrators to thank donors within 90 days of receiving donations.

We have more ways to get students free back-to-school supplies.

4. Donors Choose allows teachers to create a crowdfunding campaign for school supplies.

A screenshot from the Donors Choose website page

Donors Choose is a crowdfunding platform specifically made for teachers and schools. Educators must register for a Donors Choose account to get free school supplies. Once registered, you can create a project with information, like what materials you need, the grade level you teach, the number of students, and how the donation would make a difference in your classroom.

You can request school supplies from various categories, including digital resources, basic supplies, special needs, furniture, and technology.

Donors Choose will handle the purchase and shipping of supplies right to the teacher’s classroom or home (if your school has delivery issues) when a donation goal is reached.

5. School House Supplies offers Portland-area teachers free school supplies.

Two teachers pushing shopping carts in Schoolhouse Supplies.

Portland, Oregon teachers in the following school districts can shop at the School House Supplies Free Store for Teachers.

  • Centennial School District

  • David Douglas School District

  • Parkrose School District

  • Portland Public Schools

  • Gresham-Barlow School District

  • Reynolds School District

Teachers shop at the free store and bring the supplies back to their classrooms and students. To be eligible, schools must have 50% or more students qualify for free or reduced lunch. If your school would like to participate in the 2023 – 2024 Schoolhouse Supplies Online program contact Schoolhouse Supplies.

RELATED: Check out the retailers that offer teacher discounts.

6. Request free books from

A person taking a photography book out of a box.

Half Price Books accepts donation requests from educators and nonprofits that focus on literacy, the environment, or education.

Once the application has been approved, Half Price Books will send you an email to the email address provided, and you can pick up your books or other media at the nearest Half Price Books location.

Keep in mind that 60-day advance notice is required for Half Price Book donation requests.

7. Get free Kindle Textbooks on Amazon.

A woman's hands holding an Amazon Kindle displaying the first chapter of a book.

If your classroom or students have access to a Kindle, Amazon offers several eTextbooks for free.

We didn’t forget those heading off to college. Check out our list loaded with discounts and freebies for college students.

8. Request free school supplies from local organizations.

Three women posing for a photo with school supplies on a table in front of them.

Teachers may find free school supplies through local organizations, like the Boy & Girls Club of America, United Way, churches, and community centers.

9. Find free teacher supplies for your classroom on Freecycle.

Someone holding a phone with the Freecycle website displayed on it in front of school supplies on a table.

Freecycle is a place where people post things they want to give away for free — or request things they’re looking for. While it isn’t set up expressly for teachers per se, teachers swear by it. We’ve seen someone give away first grade workbooks for free!


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