Paper, pens, crayons and glue.
Construction paper, Kleenex, markers and binders.
The list goes on and on for school supplies needed for the upcoming school year.
And those are just the required items.
There are wish lists for schools like Ziploc bags, Lysol and card stock.
Sometimes all of that can be a daunting task for parents to buy all those supplies, but they also don’t want to put it on teachers who have been known to spend their personal money on supplies for their students.
“It’s an ordeal,” said Katie Wesson, who has three children, one of whom is still school age. Her son, Benjamin, is entering the eighth grade. “This year’s list is not only the general list, but because he has six teachers, each teacher also has their own list. There’s a general list which is approximately 15 items then each teacher is asking an additional six items. It’s ridiculous.”
The good news for parents is there are ways to save money on school supplies; sometimes they just have to dig for them. Several churches and organizations around town hold back-to-school events where they give out backpacks full of school supplies or bags with supplies everyone is going to need.
The Tallapoosa County Court Referral and the Wing Substance Abuse Services are teaming up to host one such event Wednesday at 2238 Washington St. in Alexander City. The groups are asking kids grades one through six to bring their backpacks to be filled with supplies. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is on a first come, first serve basis.
For Wesson, she said she’s using the Walmart shopping app which allows her to compare prices and Walmart honors the lowest price.
“I can compare prices with Target, Dollar Tree, Dollar General,” Wesson said. “Instead of going to the store and picking everything up, I can see Dollar Tree or Dollar General has it for $2 where Walmart’s price is $4.”
Wesson also mentioned it isn’t just school supplies that can be a burden for parents but starting at the middle school level, there are also fees that must be paid. For instance, Alexander City Middle School’s supply list includes a $10 locker fee, a $5 science lab fee for seventh- and eighth-graders and a $5 computer and career prep fee. Even Radney Elementary has a $3 locker fee and a $10 technology fee.
Wesson estimated she spends about $100 initially for her child’s back-to-school supplies but then also has to make sure he is stocked up throughout the year.
“He’s a boy so he loses everything,” Wesson said with a laugh. “But I also have to buy more paper, pencils. I have to go back several times. Just imagine if you have more than one child.”