Still need supplies?
Still need to pick up school supplies for your child? Most Collier County schools have their school supply lists on their websites, which can be found at www.collier.k12.fl.us/schools
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NAPLES — Angela Lorzel’s students won’t find everything they need for the first day of school at big box department stores.
Sure, they’ll need pencils, paper and two pink bevel erasers just like the rest of the second-grade students at their North Naples elementary school. But Lorzel’s incoming second graders also will need to bring a family photo and a souvenir from their summer vacation to their first day of school.
“Every day I have them bring in something different,” said Lorzel, a longtime second-grade teacher at Pelican Marsh Elementary. “It lets them get to know each other and lets me get to know them.”
As people throughout Collier and Lee counties gear up for the first day of school, many families have spent the past few weeks shopping for a growing list of school supplies. Schools across the nation are facing dwindling budgets, but Collier County educators said recently they try not to create exorbitant school supply lists -- in order to help families save money.
“With the economy now, schools are sensitive with the expense to parents,” said Tim Ferguson, principal of Veterans Memorial Elementary.
“I think it’s important to know that parents aren’t required to send school supplies. It’s really, from the school’s perspective, what parents want to donate.”
Ferguson said his school provides students with whatever essentials they need if a family can’t afford to buy what is on the list.
“I was a parent to five children, so I know what this time of year costs,” he said. “We want to keep the supply list down.”
Lists vary from school to school and from grade to grade. Students in the kindergarten and first grade group at Veterans Memorial are asked to bring two small glue sticks, a set of washable thick markers and a set of four color dry erase markers.
Those same students – if they were attending Golden Gate Elementary School in Golden Gate – would instead be asked to bring scissors, a box of tissues, and either a quart or gallon Ziplock bag.
Middle school students aren’t just asked to bring in the basics, though. Students at North Naples Middle School are asked to make sure they have a jump drive, preferably one under $8; while East Naples Middle School students are asked to have a metric ruler and a basic calendar.
Some items – like red, blue, green and yellow pocket folders for specific classes or No. 2 pencils – are a standard throughout the district, Ferguson said.
But Ferguson said that while Collier students are luckier than some of their peers across the county, teachers still have classroom wish lists.
North Naples Middle School includes those wish list items – called donation items on the school supply list – at the bottom of the 2010 school supply list.
This year teachers are looking for things like copy paper and hand sanitizer.
But some parents don’t need to worry about shopping for school supplies before school starts this week.
By the numbers
Collier has 46,000 students in the public schools and Lee has 86,000 students.
This is the final of three days of coverage about public school students going back to classes on Monday.
David Short, Bonita Springs Elementary School’s principal, said teachers at his school rarely send out school supply lists. Instead, Short said, the school works with a variety of business partners in the community to “work with us to fill the backpacks.”
“We will have a completely filled backpack for everyone in the school,” Short said.
Phillip Roach, a Bonita Springs attorney, is one of those business partners. This will be the third year Roach and a group of friends will be providing fully stuffed backpacks for the school’s fourth-grade class.
Roach said Short picked the fourth-grade class based on the school supply list, which Roach said is “a little different” from the rest of the grades.
Donna Lucarelli, a Veterans Memorial parent-teacher organization vice president, said she’s found parents are more than willing to help stock teachers’ shelves for students when they can.
That’s good news, especially since schools merge school supplies so all of the students can have access to them. Lucarelli said that doesn’t seem to bother parents she knows.
“It’s very cool with the parents,” she said. “We like the sharing. It makes it very easy.”
Lorzel said parents also have a good time hunting for the treasures for her school supply list. These projects, she said, get parents excited about the second grade.
“They love it. They love that the year isn’t going to be just kids reading a textbook and filling out a worksheet,” Lorzel said of her unique school supply list. “It shows they have an opportunity to look at the world and share, and parents generally say ‘I want to be in second grade.’”