Wednesday, August 12, 2015

backpack drives

A friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day that the average parent spends $650 getting their child for school. She was aghast. I personally don't believe it. There's simply no way the average parent can afford that. Actually, I know very few people who could afford that.

And with everyone having backpack drives (the local Methodist church in Garner, the First Baptist HOPE group, the library, WRAL, Wake GOP, just to name a few) to help families in need, I can't help but wonder exactly what is going on here. I know not everyone recycles their crayons from year to year like we sometimes did, nor use the same binder from the year before (provided we had "taken care of it"), but there's seems to be an inordinate amount of need.

So using Wake County's school list, here's what it would cost for a 5th grader to go back to school:

2 two inch binders $6 each                                                                $12.00
• Glue sticks (set of 6) .50 for 2                                                          $  1.50
• Disinfecting Wipes $3.97                                                                 $ 4.00
• 1 box of tissues   $1.60                                                                     $  2.00
• 1 roll of paper towels $.97                                                                 $  1.00
• 6 marble composition notebooks $7.00 (4 in a pack)                  $ 14.00
• 1pack wide ruled notebook paper $2.97                                         $  3.00
• 1 box of colored pencils (pre-sharpened) $2.00                             $  2.00
• 24  #2 pencils (shaprpened) $3.00                                                   $ 3.00
• Crayola Broadline markers (set of 10)  $1.00                                 $1.00
• Ear buds or headphones (in Ziploc labeled with student's name) $10.00
Total Required by School:                                           $53.00              

Things people want but not required: Total if splurging: $50.00
Backpack  $25
Lunch box $10
Purse $ 15

Things a child needs that are on sale when school starts:
Underwear: bras $9.00, undies $8.00
Socks $7.00
Jeans (3 pair) $40.00
T-shirts (3): $30.00
Tennis shoes: $15-30.00
Running/gym shoes: $25.00 (recognizing this would be higher for a boy)
Total: $149

Grand Total: $253.00

That's a lot of money, but it's nowhere near the amount my friend had seen. Granted, if you had to pay lab fees and purchase a scientific calculator and locker fees and club fees that high schoolers often pay, the cost would rise quite a bit.  But the above prices I pulled from a Wal-mart and Target sales flyer. If you went to Dollar Tree or Family Dollar, you could bring that price down significantly if you needed to.

Do families need help? Absolutely! And I'm all for helping families out. But it seems to me with every group on almost every corner collecting school supplies, the county should be overstocked on school supplies by now.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

and if they are they can donate to the McLean household!! I've spent about $60 on supplies and still have to get binders (which I am trying to get cheap). We don't get new backpacks or lunch boxes every year. They do get new shoes, so add in about $150 for that so I would say about $225 average for us (but that's for 3 kids!! total not each) but what can I say???? we are cheap!!