What’s Missing from Your Back to School List?

Posted: Friday, September 5th, 2008


Back to school season is upon us, and with it comes a flurry of activity – and healthy dose of worry, too. Is my child going to make friends? Will he like his teacher? Are his backpack, his clothes, or his haircut going to signal “nerd” or normal?

For all the overstressed moms and worried dads out there, I have a cure. And it involves taking a minute to stop thinking about your child’s lunchbox, desk partner, and hairdo.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and picture this: kids around the world with no Jonas Brothers backpacks, no Miley Cyrus erasers, and no MP3 players. No pens or pencils. No teacher. No school.

Can you picture it?

Chances are, you feel a little better about Timmy’s back to school gear and JoJo’s teacher assignment. But if you want to feel a whole lot better, consider skimming off the top of your back to school budget to help needy teachers and students get the resources they need.

Want to think globally? Global Giving, which connects donors to worthy projects and programs around the world, has a Back to School special on education projects. For just $50, you can send an Afghan refugee to school for a year, and a mere $10 can provide Nepalese students with a year’s worth of school supplies. Get your child involved, and you’ve got yourself a lesson in empathy – and geography – to boot!

Prefer to act locally? Sites like Donors Choose and Adopt-a-Classroom are a great way to contribute to classrooms across the United States. Donors Choose allows people to fund unique educational projects, proposed by teachers, that would otherwise never become a reality. Past projects have included setting up a classroom puppet theater, growing a class garden, and outfitting eager students with enough chess boards to go around. Adopt-a-Classroom lets you become a patron of a specific classroom by providing funding for supplies, as well as a caring connection that can include anything from serving as a chaperone on school trips to sponsoring special events such as a career day.

By choosing to donate to support another child’s education, you’ll not only be able to appreciate what your own child has – you’ll teach him one of the most important lessons of all: that helping matters.

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3 Responses to “What’s Missing from Your Back to School List?”

  1. Kat Says:

    I LOVE these ideas Rose. Thanks for helping to put things in perspective.

  2. Spence Says:

    What would be great for accessing a back to school list is the use of Claytorials. Parents could sit down with their children to a claymation tutorial explaining items that they should be taking with them

  3. Character Education Says:

    Its my favorite topic and i am feeling happy to pass my comment on this, i think school period is memorable for every one and no one can forget it, my all teachers, my desk, my friends gang, our play ground each and every thing i never forget, but now we need to think globally, and as a part of modern world its our responsibility to help our children in education, there are various ways for that, we can help some one personally, or with the help of some organizations, we also can donate some money on monthly basis to make our children happy, healthy and educated, we need to develop our Character Education first, and we all need to play our role in this.

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