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Finding free school supplies for teachers is challenging, but getting them at no cost is a game changer. With tight school budgets, many teachers dip into their pockets to fund special classroom projects.
According to AdoptAClassroom.org, most teachers spend an average of $750 a year on school supplies. That’s $62.50 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 and start the school year off right, 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.
Download the KCL app for the latest back-to-school deals and savings.
1. Kids In Need Foundation Supply A Teacher Program provides teachers with free school supplies.
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:
- Pencil pouches
- Loose-leaf paper
- Colored pencils
Teacher applications are accepted year-round, and whether you’re teaching in the classroom or through distance learning doesn’t matter.
Schools may also receive Lysol wipes through the Kids In Need Foundation as part of Lysol’s Here for Healthy Schools Campaign.
2. Adopt A Classroom donates free school supplies to teachers.
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 before using their donations.
We have more ways to get students free back-to-school supplies.
3. Donors Choose allows teachers to create a crowdfunding campaign for school supplies.
Donors Choose is a crowdfunding platform specifically made for teachers and schools. Teachers must register for a Donors Choose account to get free school supplies. Once registered, you can create a project with information, such as 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 school 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 eligible for flexible shipping) when a donation goal is reached.
4. Make a Class Wish school supply list of all your classroom essentials.
Class Wish lets you create your ideal school supply list and shows donors exactly what you need for your classroom. The process is super simple, meaning no essay or educational project to create, and it only takes about a minute. However, you should mention what grade you teach and a comment about why the supplies on your list will improve your students’ education. You can select items from several vendors, including Michaels, Pearson, PBS, and ThermoFisher Scientific. Once your list is complete, donations are shipped to your school.
5. School House Supplies offers Portland area teachers free school 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
- 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. School House Supplies will begin the 2022 – 2023 school year registration sometime in August, so stay tuned.
We’ve gathered up even more teacher discounts and more freebies.
6. Staples Classroom Rewards Program gives teachers 10% when school supporters make in-store purchases.
Parents, supporters, and teachers must download the Staples Connect app and enroll in Classroom Rewards to participate in the Classroom Rewards program at Staples. To be eligible and receive rewards as an educator, you must register as a teacher on the rewards page.
When Staples Classroom Rewards members use their Staples Rewards number during in-store checkout, 10% of their purchase goes to the teacher of their choice — up to $1,000 every 180 days. The teacher or school will automatically receive $5 into their Staples Rewards account, which they can use on school supplies without spending anything out of pocket.
7. Fill out a request form to get a sample of Velcro from Velcro.com.
To get a sample from Velcro.com, you need to fill out their Contact Us form. Select Personal Use from the first dropdown menu, click Inquiries and skip the SKU/Part Number. In the comments box, let them know you want to try out their product for your classroom.
8. Request free books from halfpricebooks.com.
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.
9. Get free Kindle Textbooks on Amazon.
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.
10. Request free school supplies from local organizations.
Teachers may find free school supplies through local organizations, like the Boy & Girls Club of America, United Way, churches, and community centers.
11. Find free teacher supplies for your classroom on Freecycle.
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!
TIP: Visit Colgate.com to request a free Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Future classroom kit with toothpaste and toothbrush samples for 24 Kindergarten or 1st-grade students, along with materials on good oral health. You will receive the kit in early January 2023.