Free Classroom Supplies

How to Get Free Teaching Materials

Funding for educational equipment is becoming increasingly short in this difficult economic climate. The average K-12 public school teacher might easily spend $500-$1,000 of their own money on supplies per year, even in favourable economic times.

Nevertheless, as school budgets continue to be squeezed, that percentage might rise, according to James Rosenberg, president and founder of Adopt-A-Classroom, which has raised $10 million in the last decade for supplies for 20,000 classrooms in all 50 states.

Here are some grassroots recommendations from imaginative educators on how to receive free supplies despite budget cuts, rather of having to dig deeper into your own pockets. There are also links to groups that assist teachers in obtaining the supplies they require.

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Take a look at the following methods for obtaining free materials:

Recycling. A nonprofit recycling site called Freecycle, which is run by Jennifer Volpe, a former speech pathologist at Cobble Hill High School in Brooklyn, New York, encourages it. People from all over the world post items such as books, CDs, electronics, and toys that they’re giving away on the site. According to Volpe, the only snag is that you have to make arrangements to pick up the stuff.

Free shopping spree is being offered. Schools with at least 60% of their pupils eligible for free lunch can participate in a monthly shopping spree at resource centres such as A Gift for Teaching, a nonprofit based in Orlando, Florida, that receives the majority of its new goods as surplus from businesses. The Kids in Need Foundation has established a nationwide network of 25 free school-supply resource centres to assist teachers in schools where 70 percent of the student population qualifies for free lunch. Aside from the Teacher Resource Center of the North Bay in Napa County, California, other local organisations that collect and distribute free supplies include the Teacher Resource Center of Portland, Oregon, and the Teacher Supply Depot in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Consider joining an online discussion group. Obtain supplies by posting a request on a Yahoo Group or a Google Group in your town. You may also use the Internet to find goods.


Adopt-A-Classroom provides instructors who wish to solicit financial support from the community with a free and secure online e-wallet account through their website. Books, games, and other educational supplies can be purchased by teachers through the site’s online dealers, which are affiliated with the site.

Simply log onto the website and register your classroom while also describing the types of materials you’d like to purchase. Afterwards, inform parents and local businesses that they can support your school by “adopting” it for as little as $25.


Neeta Garg, the proprietor of the Kumon Math and Reading Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, wants to assist local teachers in their endeavours. As a result, she organised a school supply drive. She distributed posters and letters to parents, and her daughter shared information about the event on social media. In addition to hundreds of donated pencils and notebooks, she collected gloves, coats, and backpacks, all of which she donated to local public schools. She also collected money for the schools.

In addition, at Wilmot Elementary School in Deerfield, Illinois, parent-teacher organisation (PTO) fundraising help to defray the cost of many school supplies and equipment. Teachers create wish lists of the supplies they’d want to have in their classrooms, ranging from pencil sharpeners to culinary equipment. A Market Day, during which students and their families can order food from a catalogue once a month, is one of the many fundraisers organised by the PTO throughout the year.


Gift registries are no longer reserved solely for weddings. Public school instructors can post online requests for equipment and supplies through DonorsChoose, a crowdsourcing platform. (See this Edutopia article for advice on how to use DonorsChoose successfully.) Teachers can build a classroom technology wish list, which supporters can then browse and contribute, using the Digital Wish platform.


After asking parents and local businesses to sponsor his examinations, Tom Farber, an Advanced Placement calculus teacher at Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, made news. “I knew I had to do something,” Farber said, explaining that if he provided one quiz per chapter to each of his 167 pupils, he would spend more than $500 (about $3 per student) on photocopies alone. “I knew I had to do something,” Farber added.

Thus, Farber began to charge a modest fee for a small amount of space at the bottom of each examination. He charges $10 for each quiz, $20 for each test, and $30 for each final exam. The majority of sponsors utilise motivating statements, such as this one: “A man has made at least a start on learning the meaning of human life when he planted trees under which he fully understands that he will never be able to sit.