Paper and Packaging at Center Stage During Back-to-School Shopping
By Julie Landry
Director, Government Affairs
It’s that time of year when parents of young children all rejoice - Back to School! After a fun filled summer with your kids, there’s a yearning for structure and a return to routine that all families can appreciate.
One of the best parts of getting your family ready for the next school year is shopping for back-to-school supplies. As a child, I remember the thrill of heading to the store to buy new notebooks, pens, lunchboxes and a backpack. These supplies were new and clean and all mine. Back in the 80’s, there was nothing more desirable for elementary-aged girl than a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper to organize all your class papers. There was something about having these new supplies that made me feel ready to take on a new class and a new year.
These days, as I prepare my oldest for his first year of a full day at school, he will get to experience the joy of starting a new class at school and being prepared with his own supplies. Being a working mom, I find it most convenient to order his supplies online. As the orders of notebooks, art papers, crayons and kid friendly scissors arrive in the box he grows more and more excited. For the first time this year I will have to start packing him a lunch, and I am already preparing my kitchen with recyclable and reusable items like paper bags for sandwiches and fruit and some creative paper straws to add some fun to his lunch. As I have been researching kids lunchbox ideas I found that many people include little paper note cards in their kids’ lunch offering encouragement or telling a funny joke: I’m looking forward to surprising him with these notes!
Given the industry I work for, it’s not lost on me just how important a role the paper and packaging industry plays in preparing children for educational success. Kids are ever more adept at using computers and phones and technology which will be vital to them as they grow up in a different environment than I did. But, there is nothing quite like learning to write in a new notebook or sounding out the words of a book as you learn to read. I can’t wait to experience these things with my children.
One thing I know about back to school is that is not always easy for everyone to provide their children with the necessary supplies. Teachers also may not be able to afford everything they need for their classroom. I find that if you are able it’s always nice to purchase a few extra supplies and give them to your teacher or another school nearby that might be able to use them for other children. Wishing everyone a successful and happy school year!