Start the School Year Off Right

Yesterday my son and I went shopping for school clothes. You would have thought I was torturing him the way he complained. Florida also had a tax free weekend for school supplies and clothing last weekend. We had returned from being out of town that Sunday so we ran over to Walmart at 7 p.m. that night to get his composition books and pencils, too. 

From my Facebook page, I can see that some of the children of my friends are already in school. My son starts next week. So, it’s time to start thinking of teachers, schedules and homework again. Amidst all the preparation, you will see boxes in major chain stores like Walmart asking for school supply donations for needy kids. 

It’s an easy way to donate. Just pick up a few extra boxes of pencils and reams of paper at the same time you’re shopping for your own children while most of these items are on sale.

However, there’s another group of kids who need supplies just as much as the older ones—preschoolers. We have a home daycare in our neighborhood so I talk to the lady who runs it on occasion especially when I lock myself out of my house on a weekday morning.

A few years ago, I had done just that and since most other people are gone to work at that time, I ended up knocking on her door to use her phone. We started talking and I found out she had taught a book my son had also done in kindergarten—Flat Stanley. 

It’s about a boy whose bulletin board falls on him and flattens him so that he can fit under a door. Many teachers have their kids make a Flat Stanley and mail him with a letter to relatives and friends so they can see how far around the world Flat Stanley can go.

This preschool teacher had done just that and had gotten the president of the United States (Bush at the time) to receive and send her Flat Stanley back.

After my son had enjoyed Flat Stanley so much in kindergarten, I purchased a set of books about him. In them, I think Stanley went to Egypt and the moon or something like that. I told my neighbor about them and she got so excited.  She asked if she could borrow them and since by then my son had read all of them so I gave them to her to keep.

Other things besides books you can give to preschool daycare centers are toys that your kids have outgrown, playdoh and crayons—in general anything that your kids enjoyed when they were in preschool. The large daycare centers may or may not take things but in home daycares have a great need for them.

It’s a good idea to ask the owner if there’s anything they need in particular, too. How do you find a daycare nearby? Many counties have licensing programs for the in home ones.  You can google county licensing programs for daycare and call to get phone numbers for a few near you.

It’s great for the daycares and for your children when they give away their old books and toys. It is also another way you can start the school year off right for you and your children—by helping others.


  1. Great post! I think it is good to give as well. With all of the sales happening it is not that expensive to donate to a worthy cause. Flat Stanley sounds very interesting. You made her day with those books. Good for you.

  2. Thank you. She made mine, too, by letting me use her phone! The beginning of the school year is a great time of year to do something great.


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