Starting Strong: Breaking down back to school supplies

School supplies are essential tools for hands-on-learning. Proper supplies allow students to be active participants in the educational process instead of just listening to the teacher. Rock Quarry Elementary School teacher Emily Free said teachers start thinking about their supply list before school even breaks for the summer. 

“At the end of the year we look at things that we ran out of fast, and we make sure to add that on the list or add it on at a greater capacity,” said Free. “We really just want to look at things that will be useful on a day-to-day basis.” 

Some of those items include:

  • crayons
  • glue
  • disinfectant wipes
  • pencils
  • hand sanitizer

Free said there is a reason teachers need specific items.  

“If there is a particular brand that is listed, it is typically because it is a tried-and-true item that has been used in a classroom before and we have noticed that it has been efficient, works well, and it is durable and lasts a long time,” said Free. 

How much will parents pay to purchase all the items on a typical school supply list? We located all the items on the list. At check-out, our grand total for back-to-school supplies for one child was $162.36. Free offers some advice if you are one of many parents who still need to buy back-to-school supplies. 

“You have lots of options. Do not stress out about it because lots of stores carry items that we have on our list. You can go to Dollar General and get Crayola crayons, markers, and Elmer’s. Those are like a dollar a piece and I would say online is always a friend when looking for things for a better price because you can look for a particular item, but you can see it at different locations to see which one is the most cost effective,” said Free.  

The state of Alabama will hold it’s Back-to-School tax-free weekend from Friday, July 21 – 23.



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