For students, teachers, parents, and guardians across the nation, the arrival of August signals the end of summer vacation and the arrival of back-to-school season. For many, the month is filled with school supply shopping, schedule planning, and otherwise preparing for the academic year to come, so it’s no surprise that August is also known as National Back to School Month.
National Back to School Month History
Since the 1960s, National Back to School Month has been observed during the month of August. In the United States, the school year traditionally starts in the fall and ends in the spring. This schedule was created with the intention of allowing children in farming families to be home to help out during the planting and harvesting seasons in our primarily agricultural society. With more families living in urban and suburban areas, some schools have shifted to a year-round or alternative academic calendar, but the majority of schools still keep a start date sometime in August, making it the perfect awareness month for back-to-school preparations.
How to celebrate National Back to School Month
Whether you’re a parental figure blocking out time in your schedule for school supply shopping or someone who isn’t in school anymore, there are plenty of ways to observe National Back to School Month and support students and teachers in your community.
Donate school supplies
Once the school year begins, many schools and teachers have supply lists they need help to fill. From tissue boxes and hand sanitizer to markers and notebook paper, every classroom needs resources to support their students and that’s where you can help. Reach out to your local schools to see if they’re looking for any specific supplies for the school year. Then, drop off donations to schools in need. To increase your impact, reach out to your network to see if they can help you donate goods or money for school supplies. You can also search in your community for existing school supply donation drives to donate to.
Volunteer at your local school
Even before the school year begins, many schools need volunteers to help run their back-to-school events and help students get acclimated. Volunteer to help at back-to-school registration days or help out at any welcome back fun fests or picnics schools have planned. If you’ve attended a local school yourself or know any students, connect with new students to give tours and advice on how to navigate their new school and help set to rest any first-day jitters.
Charities to donate to
The back-to-school season is a busy time, so if you don’t have the time to volunteer, consider donating to educational charities. Here are a few charities you can donate to for National Back to School Month to support teachers and students.
Founded in 1919, Junior Achievement USA (JA) is one of the nation’s largest educational charities. JA teaches students financial literacy, professional skills, and everything else they need to become independent adults in both in-school and after-school programs. Junior Achievement has over 100 local chapters across the nation that are dedicated to serving youth in local communities, so it’s easy to make an impact on students in your local community. Donate to Junior Achievement USA here or find your local JA chapter to donate to here.
With 12 chartered Clubs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County (BGCBC) helps over 12,500 youth as the 5th largest Club in the nation. Since 1965, BGCBC has worked to provide young people with a safe place to develop both academic and personal skills. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County offer programs in three key categories: academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. Get involved with BGCBC by donating here, or find your local Boys & Girls Club here.
Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHSFL) has been providing opportunities for children and families for 120 years, offering multiple programs ranging from counseling to education to adoption support in order to create brighter futures for families and children in need. With over 1,300 staff members, CHSFL serves over 80,000 kids and families each year with solutions that help provide safety and stability to families all over Florida. Create a lasting impact by donating to CHSFL here or finding a program in your area here.
The back-to-school season can be hectic and nerve-wracking for everyone involved with preparations for a new academic year. With these recognition ideas and charities, you can turn National Back to School Month into an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world and your communities, while also preparing for the new year yourself.