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How to Ship Your Students Exactly What They Need, Where They Need It

Your classroom has had to be more flexible than ever this school year. We’ve updated our shipping policies to match. You can find all the details in our Help Center, but the short story is: we’re here to help you get the resources you need, right where you need them.

Read on for some clever ideas from your fellow teachers for getting much-needed materials into the hands & homes of every student.

The DIY (Deliver-It-Yourself) Method

When you create your project, one option is to have your classroom materials shipped directly to your school. From there, you can distribute items to your students by personal delivery or drive-through pick-up. This works great for larger items, expensive materials, and technology (or if you just want a chance to wave at your students from the car instead of the screen!).

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
Mrs. Elchyshyn, Grades 3-5, California

Request:

  • Dr. Seuss Party Paper Hats, Mini Memo Pads, Beveled Erasers, and Pencils
  • “I Love to Read” Rubber Bracelets
  • Dr Seuss Oh The Places You’ll Go! Bookmark Assortment Set

“Even though we are still learning from a distance, we want to be able to plan for the future and celebrate our love for reading. We want to celebrate [Dr. Seuss’s] birthday in March with a school wide party and family night. Students will be inspired to write like Dr. Seuss with their hats, pencils, notepads and erasers. We will have a special drive through event where they will pick up their goodie bags. Then teachers will Zoom on a special night, sharing his literature and having the students complete exciting activities.

Helping Students With Food Deficits!
Mrs. Williams, Grades 9-12, Alabama

Request: 

  • 100% Recycled Paper Bags
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks, Bulk Variety Pack
  • Mott’s 100% Apple Juice
  • PLANTERS Salted Cashews
  • Frito-Lay Ultimate Snack Care Package, Assorted Chips, Cookies, Crackers & More

“My students are from a school in Alabama where ninety percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch. I am now teaching my students on Google Classroom, and they have no choice except to work from home.

Once I received the snacks from DonorsChoose, I selected a date to deliver them to the students. I sent them an email and told them the date that I would deliver them. Because it rained that day, I took some to the drive thru lunch line and I delivered some to their homes. The students were so surprised, it was like they hit the lottery. Their parents thought that this was the greatest gesture, some of them even posted it on Facebook.”

The Snail Mail Approach

One of our top trending items: Stamps! You can add postage stamps or pre-paid shipping supplies to your project or create a separate project just for these items. On DonorsChoose, you can find postage stamps through Staples. When the materials arrive at your classroom, you’ll be all set to mail your students exactly what they need.

Snail Mail: A Contemporary Flat Stanley Inspired Project
Mrs. Rodriguez, Kindergarten, New York

Request: 

  • Postage Stamps
    Copy Paper
  • Unpadded Large Shipping Envelopes 
  • Thermal Laminating Pouches

“Although we are not physically in school I am still looking for ways to engage and have fun with my children. My students will be thrilled to attend a bedtime story of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown, then excited to know that they will receive materials to create their own Mrs. Rodriguez adventures. 

The requested stamps, postcards, laminating sheets, and Exacto knife will help me create a modern-day Flat Stanley project for my children. In this book Flat Stanley goes on adventures as a “flat” boy and although ‘special’ he goes through exploring life with his family and learns new things and goes on a new adventure every day.

I would like to send each of my children a laminated Bitmoji of me on a popsicle stick that they can explore with and write about daily. In order to create these, I will need the laminating sheets, knife, hot glue, and popsicle sticks. I will send them postcards along with my Bitmoji that they can take outside, make new clothes for and read with. Each week they will use one of the postcards to write about an adventure they had with me and mail it to me. I cannot wait to see their postcards and to respond.”

Mail Rewards and Certificates During Distance Learning!
Mrs. Flores, 5th Grade, California

Request:

  • Postage Stamps
  • Thinking of You School Themed Blank Postcards

“Many of the traditional rewards that teachers use in the classroom do not work very well during distance learning. Simple stamps, postcards, and envelopes allow me to mail them a reward that is tangible to my students.

During the course of a school day, teachers are usually able to give small and tangible rewards to students for their work. For example, we place stickers on their work, or stamps with accolades. We give them reading certificates when they reach goals that they are then able to take home. Because of distance learning, this type of incentive is much more difficult to get into the hands of students. These tangible rewards help motivate students and make them feel accomplished and successful during distance learning. This project will provide the stamps and envelopes needed to mail student certificates, postcards, and other incentives through the mail.

I want them to feel the excitement of receiving a piece of mail that is theirs with a prize for their work. I want them to get something physical, not just something that they can view on the computer.

The Custom Student Care Package

In your physical classroom, you often make accommodations for one student who needs some extra space, customized curriculum, or access to a particular resource. DonorsChoose can help you do the same for students learning from home. Create a low-cost project (we recommend $350 or less) on behalf of one student who needs a boost. You’ll have the option to select a custom address if you would like the materials sent directly to them.

Books for Boredom
Ms. Schmidt, Grades 6-8, Wisconsin

Request:

  • A Kid’s Guide to Latino History
  • Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels
  • Matilda, Bridge to Terabithia, and Where the Red Fern Grows

“One student doesn’t seem like much, but one student matters. At school, [this student] is a voracious reader who chews through books like no tomorrow; however, since the COVID-19 pandemic began, she doesn’t have access to books.

For her, books are like air filling her with life, escape, and freedom. For this young lady, the library is a limited option. They have no way of getting to the library as their only vehicle is utilized by her father to get to and from work.

I believe that by helping to grow this young lady’s library, that she will continue to grow in her academic skills as well as her English Language Skills. She has a younger sister that I know she reads to, so these books would serve the entire family.

Please help me to give this young lady the library that she has always dreamed of having in her house.

Coping Using Copic Markers
Mr. Tsukuda, Grades 9-12, New York

Request: Copic Ciao Double Ended Marker Set

“Many of our students have been under a tremendous amount of stress during this pandemic, but one particular student has suffered multiple losses since the Spring. He loves art and finds it therapeutic. This set of Copic markers will be delivered directly to his home so that he can release some anxiety and express his creativity through his drawings. Scores of anime, manga, and comics artists as well as landscape, product, architecture, and fashion designers prefer Copic markers because of their ultra-blendable, low odor, alcohol based inks. I know my student will enjoy experimenting and creating with these markers.”

And an extra gold star for this project, because aren’t we all that one student?

Supplies for Middle Schoolers
Ms. Katy, Grades 6-8, California

Request: Help me give my students notebooks, pencils, pens, markers, crayons and squishies (and one student an alarm clock so they don’t miss class!)


As you’re considering delivery options, remember this materials ownership tip: if your project explicitly states that materials are to be given to the students to use and own (such as take-home books, Warmth, Care & Hunger supplies, or other consumables), you don’t have to worry about collecting back the materials at the end of the school year. Your students can keep them!

Check out our new Coronavirus landing page for all the ways DonorsChoose is adjusting to meet the needs of teachers and students during this unusual year, including more info on flexible shipping options.

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