How to Apply for Free School Supplies

Are you in need of school supplies for your classroom? Back to school time can be expensive and teachers are so often under-funded for supplies. Students can’t always afford their own school supplies, so teachers often supplement what they need. Plus, teachers need all kinds of items and resources that can really add up.

There are ways to get the things you need for free, you just have to know how to apply for free school supplies. Follow these instructions and see how much you can save.


Join Adopt a Classroom

The Adopt a Classroom organization is designed to match teachers with donors who wish to contribute funds toward supplies for classrooms. Funds come from grants, corporate sponsors, crowdfunding, and more. Follow this link to register.

You’ll need to create an account and a classroom funding page that outlines what you need so that donors know what to do to fund your needs. Once your page is created you can share the link with any potential donors from your own network. You may also receive donations from outside organizations and those affiliated with Adopt a Classroom. The donations teachers receive can be immediately spent online at any of the nearly 30 vendors that are approved by the Adopt a Classroom organization.


Register with Donors Choose

Teachers can use Donors Choose to campaign for funding for a classroom or school-wide project. Here’s the link to register. You’ll set up an account by entering your email address and choosing your school. You’ll enter the necessary information about the supplies and funding you need. Then donors can make donations to your classroom. Donors can be your own friends and family, the families of your students, or a variety of our own community donors. Once supplies have been funded, Donors Choose takes care of ordering and shipping your supplies directly to you.


Make a List on ClassWish

When teachers plan for a new school year, they typically have a list of required supplies and a wish list of special items they hope to get from generous parents and families. ClassWish makes it easy to create an online wishlist for your classroom.

Sign up to create a wishlist for your classroom or school. Donors can look up a specific school and donate by category to your wishlist. They’ll get a receipt for their tax-deductible donation. You don’t have to wait for any certain dollar amount to start shopping for supplies. Start with your top priorities and order more as the money comes in. There’s no cost for shipping, so you can make as many individual orders as you wish. ClassWish never charges any fees.


Make a Wish List on Your Favorite School Supply Website

Do you have a certain supplier(s) you prefer to order from? Make a wish list directly on your favorite school supply website and share it with your students’ families and any other potential donors. An excellent school supply company is Geddes, which allows you to create a wish list of supplies right on their website. People can access it and order directly from your list. Your supplies will be shipped straight to your school.

Geddes has been a top supplier of school supplies, novelties, toys, prizes, and more since 1924. There are fundraising opportunities, school store options, and ways to get donations for the things your students need.


Apply for Digital Wish Grants

Are you looking to fund technology supplies for your classroom or school? You can apply for a grant through Digital Wish that can provide your classroom or school with computers and other technological devices. Access to technology can help level the playing field so that students at low-funded schools can have the same opportunities as more highly funded schools.

To apply for grants, simply register your classroom at Digital Wish. Submit a lesson plan that requires the use of technology that your class or school is lacking. This enters you for a chance to win up to 50 different technology grants.


Take Advantage of Free Resources

There are many amazing free resources available to teachers and administrators that don’t require much time or effort to get. Try some of these school supply freebies that require nothing more than a computer and printer to access them. You’ll find seasonal worksheets and puzzles, Dr. Seuss themed resources, and even free lesson plans. When you need a filler activity for those few extra minutes between classes or something fun to celebrate a new season or holiday, you can find all kinds of free resources at Geddes.


Find Free Used Stuff on Freecycle

Whatever you need for your classroom you may be able to find it free when you use Freecycle. On Freecycle, members can post items they no longer need and others can post the items they are in need of. Everything is free through this item exchange system. Sometimes you can even find new items. You’ll find anything from furniture to fish tanks to playground equipment and more. Find a group near you and sign up to become a member so that you can get stuff and give away stuff.


Get Free Books From Half Price Books

If you need books for your classroom, Half Price Books not only offers books that are half off the original price, but also free books. Half Price Books is a bookstore that buys and sells new and used books. Books are often donated to schools when there is an overstock supply. All you have to do is apply for a donation.


Get Nominated for A Day Made Better

This is an event that takes place yearly that awards 1,000 teachers with $1,000 worth of school supplies. The event is sponsored by OfficeMax and Adopt a Classroom. Teachers are nominated by students, parents, and other members of the community for their dedication to their students. A nomination from someone you know could help you get free school supplies.


Tell Your Story to the Kids In Need Foundation

Another resource for free school supplies is the Kids In Need Foundation. Teachers can enroll in the Supply A Teacher program. Get information here to find out how to get funded. Familiar donors can find specific teachers or anonymous donors can read through unknown teachers’ stories and donate to whichever classroom speaks to their generosity. You can also shop for free at any of the 42 resource centers available in the US that partner with the Kids In Need Foundation. Find the nearest location to you.


Seek Out State and Local Resources

There are many different local and state-wide organizations that supply teachers and classrooms with free school supplies. Search for the ones that are specific to your area and you’re sure to find many opportunities to get free supplies for your classroom.

Underfunded public schools is an ongoing issue that requires constant assistance. Schools don’t just need supplies at the beginning of the school year, they need them throughout the year. Teachers have had to make a habit of storing supplies they receive at the beginning of the year and rationing them so that they last until the end of the year. And still, supplies run out.


The Financial Burden of COVID-19 on Teachers and School Funding

However schools are handling attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the financial need has increased in order to deliver education. Schools that have chosen the virtual option have needed to supply computers to students so that they can learn at home. Even the schools choosing part time in-person instruction and part time virtual instruction have been required to supply computers to students for the days they are learning from home. Schools where students attend in person have had to increase their cleaning budget to afford extra cleaning supplies and custodial staff to make schools safe.

This year, more than ever, teachers and students will need assistance in acquiring school supplies so that they can attempt to get the same quality education they would have received without the effects of a global pandemic. Knowing how to apply for free school supplies can help teachers meet the unique needs of their students in these unprecedented times.


Why Get Your Supplies From Geddes?

Now that you know how to apply for free school supplies, use your funding wisely. There are many benefits to ordering your classroom supplies from Geddes. You earn rewards on every purchase so the more you buy, the more you can get next time you place an order. Geddes has 90 years of experience in the school supply industry, offering the latest products that kids want. School supplies are supposed to help students learn, and fun, colorful items encourage kids to get excited about school.

Shop online, request a catalog, or place an order by phone at (888) 431-1722. Geddes strives to help teachers get the supplies they need to do what they do best.