Spring Cleaning Can Support Your Schoolsteacher advice schoolLearn How to Help Your Kids Succeed in School parenting advice teacher school

Spring Cleaning Can Support Your Schools

By Jennifer Cummings, M.Ed.

Spring Cleaning Can Support Your Schools

The spring is a wonderful time to open the windows, enjoy the sun, and begin going through the clutter that has accumulated over the fall and winter months. Everyone usually has a variety of things that have built up in their home over the past seasons, and spring is a time when many people try to clean up their pl before the start of the busy summer season. If you are doing the springtime “big dig” in your home, you may have some items that could be useful to your child’s school.

Craft Supplies

Craft supplies are items that many families have accumulated during the year can be valuable donations to a classroom. Generally, schools do not have the funding to provide teachers with more than the basic necessities for everyday lesson. More often than not, teachers purchase additional materials for children to use in creative lessons.

Small batches of materials can be valuable resources in the classroom. Pipe cleaners, old scrapbooking materials, stickers, crayons, pieces of cloth, markers, poster board, yarn, felt, pom-poms, acrylic paints, and a host of other materials can often be utilized in the classroom. If you have some leftover supplies from a project or if you have gathered a supply that’s too large for your needs, check with your school to see if your child’s teacher may be interested. Many creative teachers are skilled at turning odds and ends of materials into fantastic projects for your child to learn from!

Organizational Supplies

Teachers and students in the classroom, like everyone else, need to organize their materials so that they can find them and use them effectively. There are many items that help with this task that you may be willing to donate. Extra boxes of zip sealing sandwich bags are useful for storing small items or sending small projects home. Small plastic totes and storage containers are useful for storing items on classroom shelves. Larger totes can be sued to store books and other larger objects. Magazine holders may be needed in the library or classroom. Filing cabinets or file boxes can often be used in the classroom. Everything that helps to make materials easier to store and use will definitely help your child’s learning!

Party Supplies

Teachers often try to have small parties to celebrate successes in the classroom. Paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels, plastic wrap, decorations and disposable cups are all necessities that teachers often have to provide themselves. If you find that you have extra supplies from a birthday party, graduation, or other celebration, think of donating them to your child’s classroom. Supplies that don’t get used this year will likely be saved for next year.Clothing

Some schools may also benefit from using your child’s outgrown, but serviceable clothing. Most nursing offices keep an emergency supply of children’s clothing available to allow children to change if they become wet or dirty during the day. Sweatpants, wind pants, and shirts are generally what most nursing offices keep on hand. If your children have outgrown their clothes, check with the school nurse or office to see if you can help them be well supplied. Always be sure to provide freshly laundered clothing to avoid placing more responsibility on the school nurse.

Animal Supplies

Many schools allow classrooms to keep pets during the school year. However, most of the time teachers are responsible for getting the necessary materials to care for pets. There may be materials that can be used by your school’s classroom teachers or science instructors, depending on their school policies.

There are some supplies which may be more useful because there is a greater likelihood they would be used in a school. Fish supplies such as tanks, artificial plants, pumps and filters, and fish food are all welcome if a classroom has a pet fish or turtle. Wood shavings, small animal food, water bottles, exercise wheels, food dishes, and cages are all useful to a classroom that keeps small pets such as gerbils, mice, or hamsters. Other small animal supplies are also handy, and discussing individual donations with teachers can let you know if your donation would be a good match for the school.

Before planning on any live animal donations, please be sure to discuss the matter with your child’s teacher. Some schools do not permit keeping pets in classrooms. Also, caring for an animal during the summer vacation months is generally a task that falls on the classroom teacher, so be sure that he or she is willing to take on that responsibility.

Cleaning Supplies

If you find that you have extra cleaning supplies after you have finished with your own spring cleaning, your child’s classroom may be interested in taking donations you may have. Cleaning/ disinfectant wipes are often used to clean desks each day. Glass cleaners can be used on classroom windows and doors. Dusting products can be used to clean shelves, book cases, and other classroom storage. Disinfectant sprays and other cleansers are often welcome additions as well.

By donating cleaning products to your child’s school you will not only be helping your children to have a cleaner, more inviting learning environment. You will also be helping teachers to combat the large number of germs that are carried by lots of little hands during the day. Having a clean classroom can help to reduce the number of illnesses that are spread through physical contact. Also, eliminating dust can help to minimize allergic reactions in sensitive students.

A Final Word

Before making any donations to your child’s school or classroom, be sure to contact the individuals involved directly. It is important that the donations are expected, so that necessary pick-up arrangements can be made. Also, by contacting the school you will be able to ask what needs they have, and if your donation will be assisting them.

Thank you for thinking of your child’s school, and happy cleaning!


Jennifer Cummings

Ms. Cummings, author, and editor of the Education and School Section, she has a B.A.in psychology and an M.Ed. in special education from Framingham State College in Massachusetts. She was an elementary teacher in Massachusetts serving both regular education and special education students. She has taught grades 1,4, and 5.

"I believe that families' involvement in their child's education is one of the key ingredients to creating a successful school experience for children. Keeping parents informed about school-related issues helps parents and teachers work together for the best possible outcomes for their children. Learning together makes learning fun - for everyone!" - Jennifer Cummings.
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