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The school supplies teachers say they want, don't want and need

Posted at 6:27 AM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 16:39:38-04

DETROIT — Teachers appreciate most donations so they don’t have to buy their own supplies, but there are some needs that are greater than others.

Some school supplies, teachers ask parents not to bring into the classroom altogether.

Kindergarten teacher Kendra Barclay says pencils, crayons and erasers are always needed. But markers aren't a good fit for her classroom.

Barclay says she needs cleaning supplies throughout the year, especially during the winter and flu season.

“Tissue, paper towel, sanitizer, hand lotion, disinfectant wipes, anything that helps keep germs at bay,” said Barclay.

Beth VanHove, who works with special needs students at Graebner Elementary in Sterling Heights, warns parents not to bring mini-staplers inside the classroom.

“They can pop it open, and then the staples come right out. Like so these are pokey, they can fall on the ground, students can step on them, they can pick them up. They are small, they can put them in their mouths,” said VanHove.

Mini-pencil sharpeners can also be dangerous, especially if they fall apart and expose the blade.

Other teachers just have preferences.

Sonia Parsons is a learning center teacher at Burr Elementary in Sterling Heights, she likes glue sticks over bottles of glue.

“Glue sticks are just so much easier to use, and it’s easier for the students and they are not as messy,” said Parsons.

If you can’t figure out what to get, you can never go wrong with a gift card.

“I don’t think there is a teacher that wouldn’t welcome a gift card from a school supply store, Lake Shore is a good one, Office Max, Office Depot, Walmart and Target,” said Barclay.