Sunday, August 18, 2013

Off to School with Elmer's Bag It Forward

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  Getting my son ready for school we shopped for  Elmer's Bag it Forward, a Champions for Kids project, while doing our school shopping. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias and its client. #BagItForward #cfk #shop

Elmer's Bag it Forward

When I was a child I looked forward to back to school shopping. It was special one-on-one time with my Mom, and though I knew money was tight, she always managed to save enough for a few fun extras. I usually chose the least expensive spiral notebooks and pencils so I could splurge on my favorite pencil box, fun erasers and pencil toppers.

My son is gearing up for his big start to the school year in 2 weeks. He will be attending the same elementary school my husband did about 30 years ago! While visiting the school for pre-registration, I found out the current principal was my 6th grade teacher. In our little rural community not only is the school site historic, but the the original one room school house is still standing. Students still hatch chicks each Spring and the staff comes up with creative ways to make school fun.

Supporting our students

In 2009, this little elementary school even entered the Guinness Book of  World Records for the largest marble tournament. It was quite an event.

Despite all these great reasons to be excited for the coming year, I am still a mom, and still nervous to send my oldest off to school. I did want to make school supply shopping as memorable for him as it was for me. We headed to our local Walmart, since it has the largest school supply selection in our small town, and got our school supply list at the kiosk just inside the door. Look for the Elmer's sign to locate yours.

Elmer's Bag it Forward

Sadly, I didn't notice any fun or crazy pencil toppers or shaped erasers while we shopped, son's thing anyway. Instead I decided to make this shopping trip special by getting my son to #BagItForward with Champions For Kids #cfk.

Champions for Kids

You might remember that we donated last year, too. It is so easy to get my kids excited about giving back through this program. While we shopped for our own supplies, I grabbed extra to fill another bag for our school. The prices were right for stocking up. Elmer's School Glue and crayons were just 2/$1. Spiral notebooks were only $0.17 each. My son took charge this year and wanted to see how many sales we could find in the store. There are a lot of them.

Being a rural community the drawback is parents don't want to ask for help. Since everyone knows everyone, it is hard to admit if you can't afford school supplies. That is why I love this program. I will donate our items to my son's teacher to be used as needed. No one has to be embarrassed or singled out. This will also keep the Kindergarten teacher from having to spend any money out of her own pocket.

This year the supply list is simple: crayons, markers, pencils, Elmer's School Glue, glue sticks, etc.. I also added in Kleenex and saline Boogie Wipes for the classroom to help with runny noses and sticky fingers.

Generous friends contributed extra supplies during a play date, also. I asked families for extra supplies to help fill the box for the Kindergarten class. Everyone was happy to bring an extra bottle of glue and box of crayons, or glue sticks and pencils for a good cause. It all adds up quickly.

Kids in Need

I put our donation in a handy plastic storage container hoping the teacher could re-purpose it later.

#BagItForward donation

I think it meant a lot to my son to hand over the tub of supplies to his new teacher. He was contributing to his classroom and helping out his fellow students. It not only made him feel good, but helped with any fears he had about school.


Now I hope you will be inspired to participate with Elmer's Bag It Forward program and any of the other Champions For Kids service projects. It's so easy to get involved by just grabbing a few more supplies. Get your friends and family to help fill a box or backpack at your next party or play date.

Learn more about Elmer's Bag it Forward program on the Champions For Kids site. Also check out the Bag it Forward Pinterest board for even more inspiration.

Where will you Bag it Forward?
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