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Buying school supplies becomes chore for teens, parents

Photo: Abby Lybrook

At the start of the school year, many families have to buy school supplies like these.

By Kristina Fothergill, Staff Writer

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Once a year, there comes a time that some dread but others love: buying school supplies. Over the years, the lists have changed from brightly colored crayons and rulers to graphing calculators and MLA Handbooks, and the investment of both time and money dampens the enthusiasm for many.

“When we were younger, I always had fun,” said Fairmont senior Terrell Dorsey. “Nowadays, it’s just a pain.”

Senior Lindsay Taylor agrees. “I kind of miss the excitement it brought when I was younger.”

Students aren’t the only ones, however, who are involved in school supply shopping. Teachers and parents get in on the action, too. Some have to buy for themselves and their classrooms; others have to buy for their own children.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, American families with children in grades K-12 will spend an average of $603.63 on back-to-school apparel, school supplies and electronics in 2011.  That’s a little less than they spent in 2010 as families continue to worry about the fallout from a weak economy.

Fairmont cooking teacher Vicki Bruggeman no longer has to buy supplies for her children, but she recalls that shopping wasn’t much fun when the supply lists were “two yards long. The best thing for me was getting the lists early and being able to find the before-school sales,” she said.

Some parents even come to dread this time of year. “Buying school supplies is no longer fun for me,” said Lori Sharpe, a Kettering mother of high school and elementary school students. “When it comes time to buying the supplies, I just see it being another hassle.”

Some students and parents, however, manage to put a positive spin on the entire experience. “My mom and I look at it like tradition somewhat,” said Taylor. “It’s something to look forward to about school.”

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The school newsmagazine of Kettering Fairmont High School.
Buying school supplies becomes chore for teens, parents