Class ‘wars’ to boost teacher supplies

We all know that teachers just don’t get paid enough. We also know that teachers are regularly dipping into their own pockets for supplies for their classrooms which in some cases can add up to hundreds of their hard earned $$’s.

Schools are also becoming more reliant on parent committees subsidising or even footing the cost of helping teachers ‘stock up’ on necessary supplies. While most committees have lots of other projects on the go, most parents would support the ’cause’ of providing resources directly into the classroom.

Here we’ve put together a few ways that can help contribute supplies for teachers. Bring on the class ‘wars’!

Option 1 – ‘Supply Drive’

Now I know that you’ve all read our article about running a 5 cent challenge, haven’t you? (just nod even if you haven’t and read it here). This alternative, a ‘supply drive’, can be run in a similar way and this option is particularly useful if your parent committee is fully responsible for covering teacher supplies.

  • The first thing you’ll need to do is put together a list of items that teachers need. Talk to your principal about organising this for you. You might be able to drop in on a staff meeting and give the teachers the low down on what you’re doing and put a list together at the same time.
  • Work out the time frame that for your supply drive. A couple of weeks should do it. Any longer than that and you tend to lose momentum.
  • To avoid ending up with 5 million lots of one item and none of another, it’s a good idea to allocate grades or even classes depending on the size of your school with a particular item. For example, Preps will bring in tissues, Grade 1’s will bring in reward stickers, Grade 2’s will bring in whiteboard markers etc.
  • Supply each class with a collection bucket. You can pick up those coloured 45ltr tubs from Kmart for $5 each and they’ll come in handy at other times as well. Otherwise, cardboard boxes, laundry baskets or even milk crates will work just as well (and they’re free!). The big blue Ikea bags for $1 are awesome too and store easily 🙂
  • Advertise and promote your winners prize – a pizza party, a movie afternoon with popcorn, a pool party, slime party, or a free lunch from the tuckshop. You’ll probably have a pretty good idea of what sort of incentive will work at your school.

Then you can sit back and watch the donations roll in. A word of advice though – make sure you have adequate room to store your supplies and you’ll also need to work out how and when they will be distributed to the teachers.

Option 2 – Free Dress Day

This option is probably slightly easier to organise and although the idea is not new, it is effective.

We’ve all run free dress days. Gold coin donation, easy right? Yes, it is! The only difference, in this case, is instead of asking for a gold coin donation, we ask parents to supply an item from the list that our teachers have given us. And we can always let parents know that should they feel obliged, they are welcome to donate more than one item from the list 😉

You can still offer a winning class prize (although it can be on a smaller scale) and you’ll still need to supply a collection bin for each class. Your end result may not be as large as using option 1, but it’s all wrapped up and over and done within one day.

Option 3 – Easter Raffle

I spoke with a P&C member from a school in Perth and she told me of this fundraiser that has become a school tradition.

Every Easter, families bring in donations to make Easter hampers to raffle. The difference, in this case, is that a hamper is made up for each class. Raffle tickets are sold per class and somebody in that class wins the prize.

Here’s the best bit. The teacher of that class gets all the proceeds to use for class resources!


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