Tue, Aug

The Back-to-School Cost Crisis

VIEW FROM HERE - I remember back-to-school shopping being the highlight to the close of summer. I was out with my family hitting the major store chains for school supplies and clothing.

Back then, the basic school supplies were 8.5” X 11” ruled paper, pencils and pens, binder, protractor, compass, Texas Instrument calculator, and ruler.

It is nothing like it is today. Now, you need to add a computer, flash drive, and other material to the list of must-haves. Let me not forget, more money!

My siblings and I didn’t have uniforms. We had the latest school fads to avoid getting singled out and taunting by other school children.

On the first day of school, the kids who did not have school supplies or decent clothing stuck out like a sore thumb. They were ridiculed, teased, and labeled. Because of their back-to-school experience, they retracted from social engagement and isolated themselves.

I didn’t think much about cause and effect as a kid. I knew the importance of an image and being prepared. Also, I knew the difference between a good and failing grade was supplies to do homework and decent clothing to participate in class.

By the time I was in junior high and high school, many of my economically challenged schoolmates had dropped out, become less frequent attenders, exhibited severe behavioral problems, or succumbed to poor academic performance.

Back-to-school season and preparation hasn’t changed much from then until now. The need to help others who don’t have the means to purchase back-to-school goods remains.

If you can, help families who are experiencing financial hardship by supporting your local back-to-school drives with supplies and new clothing donations.

(Janet Denise Ganaway-Kelly offers more than a decade of accomplishments in the housing and nonprofit sector. Janet brings valuable insight in the areas of community and economic development. Additionally, she brings knowledge regarding the leadership and management challenges faced by large and small nonprofits that are struggling or growing organizations. She blogs at jdkellyenterprises.org ) –cw

Tags: back to school, uniforms, school children, taunting, failing grades, drop outs, poor academic performance

Vol 9 Issue 64
Pub: Aug 12, 2011