Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saying Thank You to a new teacher the #BagItForward Way

A field that is near and dear to my heart is education. I have been a pre-school teacher, an English as a Second Language teacher in Korea and most recently a school counselor at the elementary level. After being in the field for so long I know how important it is for not only students but also teachers and staff to start the year prepared. As a school counselor it was my job to collect and distribute school supplies to the students at my school. Even after I stopped working I donated materials and supplies for students and teachers to local schools each year.
Thanks to organizations and companies like Elmer's and the Bag it Forward program, the school supplies you buy and pay it forward can help other organizations in need! As a matter of fact, this year Elmer's has a new app that is doing just that. The Elmer's 1st Day App. This free app is a way to capture school memories (like that first day of school- my daughter and her friend are pictured below) and save them in a virtual scrapbook for years to come. Another very special feature of this app revolves around giving back. For each picture uploaded, Elmer's will donate one product to the Kids in Need Foundation (up to 200,000 products)! Not to mention Elmer's already supports teachers with the Elmer's Teacher Tool Kit Program which provides funding and supplies to teachers.

The app itself is very simple to download. You can use the QR code (must have a QR code reader on your smartphone) and download it directly from an Elmer's Supply display like this one:

or use the 1st Day App download for a direct download. Then you just create your account, take pictures and the donations will roll in! As you can see from my picture above I've already started to help out. I'm even taking that picture and using it to get a free 5 X 7 digital print from Walmart! This is only available for the month of August ( only a few more days left) so just visit your local Walmart photo studio or online at Walmart.com/photo for more details.

This year I wanted to be a little more like Elmer's so I decided to make my donations to a special teacher. As a former teacher I know how pricey it can be to set up your own classroom. You don't really get a budget and most items you get are out of pocket expenses. My chosen teacher just happens to be my neighbor. She is almost finished with her degree in elementary education and has decided to homeschool her 5 year old twins and her gifted 4 year old. Not only did she have to purchase a curriculum (which can be very expensive) but she also had to sacrifice a room in her house and transform it into a classroom. I decided  that she would be a very deserving person of a teacher supply kit so I headed to Walmart and picked up a few of my favorite Elmer's products:



some specific teacher aides (Walmart has a great section of affordable quality school supplies):


and of course a few goodies for myself. You can check out my entire shop in my Google + album.

Early this weekend I grabbed the kiddos and we delivered our gift to our friend. She was very excited to have some supplies for herself and even agreed to having her picture taken! As you can see, we got her a good stash of fun and useful supplies!




If you want to learn more check out BagItForward.org or Elmer's on Facebook and Twitter. Or if you're like me and completely addicted to Pinterest, you might want to check out the Bag it Forward board where you can re-pin some great back to school ideas.

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and and Elmer’s.  #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.




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