Students sure need a lot of stuff these days.

Back to School season seems to start earlier and earlier each year. It has become a huge event that drives students and parents to retail stores from midsummer onward, with the boldest retailers ramping up their campaigns before the end of the school year. School shopping accounts for around $84 billion in sales annually. Needless to say, it’s become a big deal.

If you grew up in a bygone generation, the fanfare surrounding Back to School season is a little confusing. Why would students and parents need to think about supplies months in advance? I mean, in my day, a back to school shopping spree took about 20 minutes and cost about $20-$30. My dad and I would go shopping the weekend before school started.

A TYPICAL SUPPLY LIST FOR A SECOND GRADER CIRCA 1990 LOOKED ABOUT LIKE THIS:

  • 1 Box Crayons
  • 2 Packs Wide Rule Notebook Paper
  • 10 No. 2 Pencils
  • 1 Eraser
  • 1 Box Tissue
  • 1 Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper with kittens on it (Optional, according to Dad.)

Unless you have a school-aged child or a kid in college, you have no idea how much stuff schools require these days. Education has evolved; perhaps students need more supplies for all of the hands-on activities they’re doing in class. And we all know how much schools struggle to keep their classrooms equipped. Faced with budget cuts, many elementary and secondary schools depend on parents to furnish necessary classroom items like hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissue, and dry erase markers. Kids are also expected to bring larger volumes of traditional school supplies.

A TYPICAL SUPPLY LIST FOR A SECOND GRADER IN 2014 LOOKS ABOUT LIKE THIS:

  • 2 Boxes of Crayola Crayons, 24 count
  • 1 Box 12ct Crayola Colored Pencils
  • 1 Box Washable Crayola Markers (classic colors, broad tip)
  • 24 #2 pencils (sharpened)
  • 1 Highlighter
  • 2 Expo Dry Erase Markers
  • 2 Pink Bevel Erasers
  • 12 Glue Sticks
  • 1 Sharp 5” Scissors
  • 2 Spiral Notebooks, 70 count (wide ruled, plain)
  • 4 Plastic Pocket Folders (plain, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 green)
  • 1 Packages wide ruled notebook paper – Boys
  • 2 Large Boxes of Tissues
  • Plastic School box 5½” by 8 ½”
  • 2 Bottles Hand Sanitizer-Girls
  • Disinfecting Wipes – Boys
  • 1 Box sandwich or quart size re-sealable baggies-Girls

How times have changed. It’s no wonder that back to school shopping starts so early!

Companies looking for feel-good PR opportunities need not look further than lending a hand this Back to School season.

Offering students branded school supplies is a great way to support families and schools in your community.

Staples Promotional Products carries an incredible array of classroom essentials at low prices. Find hand sanitizer, notebooks, pencils, and much, much more at www.staplespromotionalproducts.com.