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📚 Back to School Tips

FP Back to school tips

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August is National Back-to-School Month which means it may be time to start prepping for the new school year! From purchasing school supplies to deciding on the perfect first day outfit, there’s so much to do before the bell rings. Use the list below to help you get started:

With the new school year approaching, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need to start the year off right. Here are eight things to add to your back-to-school checklist:

1. School supplies

Check with your school to see if they have a specific supply list, and make sure you have all the necessary items.

What To Do If You Can’t Afford School Supplies This Year

Families living in poverty have options when it comes to sourcing school supplies and gear. Additionally, some of these tips are great for stretching your budget even if your family is not currently experiencing financial need.

  • Shop your home. Before buying everything brand-new, take inventory of the supplies you already have. Chances are that your student didn’t use up all of their pencils, pens, and paper from last year.
  • Try thrift stores and discount stores. You may be able to find brand-new or good-as-new items at places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Dollar stores are great for sourcing supplies such as folders, poster board, and certain craft items.
  • Share costs with another family. Get better prices by buying supplies in bulk and dividing them up with a friend or neighbor.
  • Try your network. Many families have unused school supplies and equipment lying around the house—especially after kids leave the nest. Before you pay retail price for that graphing calculator or backpack, check sources such as Facebook Marketplace and Next Door.
  • Encourage your school to sign up for our Wish List. Operation Warm works with schools in low-income communities to provide brand-new coats and shoes to their students at no cost to families. Your child’s school can sign up for our Wish List here.
  • Seek assistance from local organizations. Many nonprofits around the country hold annual school supplies drives to help kids in need. They may provide supplies directly to families or through your child’s school. Check with your local branch to learn more. Organizations that may be able to help include:

In addition, you can check here for a list of resources by state.

2. Backpack 

Invest in a durable backpack that fits your needs.


3. Lunchbox

Consider packing your own lunch to save money and ensure a healthy meal.


4. Clothing

Check your school’s dress code policy and make sure you have appropriate clothing for all types of weather.


5. Organization tools

Stay organized with a planner, folders, and other tools to keep track of assignments and important dates.

6. Technology

Make sure you have access to a computer and internet for school projects and research.


7. Transportation

Plan transportation to and from school, whether it’s walking, biking, taking the bus, or carpooling.


8. Mindset

Prepare yourself mentally for the new school year, set goals, and have a positive attitude towards learning.

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