It’s back-to-school time, and for many this time of year brings with it added financial pressure and challenges for parents, teachers and schools.
Here are six ways to make going back to the classroom – whether physically or virtually – a bit easier to those who could most do with some support right now.
- Help a school in need
Here’s one way that won’t even cost you a cent! By simply swiping your MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet card every time you shop at one of the programme’s retail partners, including Woolworths, Bidvest Waltons, Builders, Engen and more, a portion of your spend will be donated on your behalf to a school or cause of your choice.
If you aren’t already a MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet supporter, sign up now and select the schools and causes closest to your heart – and begin supporting them immediately. There are many schools across the country that would be extremely grateful for your support in these challenging times.
- Keep parents connected with digital resources
Now, more than ever, parents are burning through data to ensure that their children are able to attend virtual lessons or download worksheets. This can work out to be exceptionally expensive, and could even result in a child not being able to attend a lesson or get the work that they need to keep up with their classmates.
Why not top up the data of a parent in need to ensure their continued access to the internet, or sign them up for a subscription to school worksheet libraries such as E-classroom or Worksheet Cloud. These types of resources will assure children’s access to the best quality learning and revision materials possible.
- Don’t forget the teachers
We’ve all heard how teachers often dig into their own pockets to ensure that their learners have all the tools they need in the classroom. This year, why not put together a care package for a teacher you know (or two or three), containing some of the basics that are always needed. Items such as pens, pencils, notebooks, reams of paper, tape,paper clips and more are just some ideas. And don’t forget to add some self-care items such as sweet treats, hand sanitiser, hand lotion or coffee vouchers, to name just a few.
- Donate the school items you no longer use or need
If you are buying your child a fresh batch of stationery and new uniforms for the year, don’t forget that the old items need not be thrown away. Many schools have clothing banks that would benefit from donated uniforms. These clothing banks often sell the used uniforms to other parents at a fraction of the full price – and we all know that the full price is often very expensive. As for stationery, why not donate your excess and second-hand stationery to various teachers to keep in their classrooms for pupils who are unable to afford their own?
- Help your local library
Not everyone has the luxury of a laptop or computer at home or at school. In fact, most South Africans don’t, so many pupils from under-resourced schools turn to their local libraries for internet access to conduct their research. If you have books, unused computers or even money to spare, consider making a donation to a library in an area where you can make a difference. Libraries have such an important role to play in communities, and many are struggling to keep up with what’s needed in a world heading into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Every bit helps this back-to-school season, so if you can, support a learner, teacher, parent, school or community in need.
- Keep calm and Karri on
Schools have experienced significant losses over the last year, not only in unpaid fees but also because they haven’t been able to conduct their usual fundraising activities.
Parents and teachers have had to go above and beyond to keep teaching going in extraordinary circumstances. To help show teachers and schools how appreciated they are, secure school payments app Karri (powered by Nedbank) is paying it forward with a R500 000 donation to parents across the country.
“We are distributing R500 000 in denominations of R500 that will appear in parents’ Karri wallets. This will ultimately help schools by enabling parents to directly contribute to fundraising initiatives,” says Anthea Abrahams, General Manager at Karri. “We are also offering a R10 000 cash incentive to the school that raises the most money from a fundraising collection.”
Whether or not you #FindThe500 in your Karri wallet, supporting schools is a very worthy way to spread the love.