KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s no surprise to parents that the cost of school supplies is a major expense and prices continue to go up every year.
In fact, Huntington Bank recently released its annual Backpack Index, and the numbers show it will cost parents nearly 10 percent more this year to equip a high school student for back to school. Parents with more than one child can expect to pay as much as $3,000 on school supplies and activity fees.
The cost of school supplies is broken down as follows:
- Elementary student: $649 on supplies — a 1 percent increase from last school year.
- Middle school student: $941 — a 2.5 percent increase.
- High school student: $1,402 — a 9 percent increase
There are currently 600,000 school aged children living in poverty across Michigan, so purchasing school supplies can be a hardship for parents. However, there are organizations out there, such as Communities in Schools, which are willing to help.
Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo (CIS) recently held a “Stuff the Bus” campaign in Bronson Park where they collected school supplies for children in need. CIS suggests parents stay in touch with non-profits, businesses and churches for when they hold back to school events, like shoe drives and backpack giveaways. CIS says having the supplies they need puts students in the right frame of mind for a successful start to the school year.
“We want kids to feel excited about going back to school, and if they’re worried about not having what they need, if they’re worried about not having what their peers have, that’s one more reason to feel hesitant about going back to school, and we want kids to feel excited about going back to school,” said Pam Kingery, Executive Director of Communities in School of Kalamazoo.
Kingery also suggests parents check with their child’s school for a list of essentials.
The school may be able to provide help, and parents wont spend extra money on things their kids don’t need. Kingery suggests holding off on purchasing supplies your kids won’t use right away, as they might go on sale after the school year begins. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with hand me downs from older siblings.
For families you have more than they need, Communities in Schools of Kalamazoo is always accepting donations.