The Privilege of School Supplies

Back to School time always marks one of my favorite times of the year. I have always loved picking out new school supplies. I really enjoyed picking out the cool patterns and colors especially for my notebooks and backpack! It made me feel great to start off the year with everything color coordinated and ready to learn.

In my current work at Ferncliff, I help volunteers to package kits to send to people affected by disaster. One of the kits we assemble is a school kit, which consists of:

  • One pair of blunt scissors
  • Three 70-count bound notebooks
  • One 12” ruler
  • One hand-held pencil sharpener
  • One large eraser
  • Six new, unsharpened pencils
  • One box of 24 crayons
  • One cotton or lightweight canvas bag

Most of the supplies we use to assemble these kits are donated by various churches, so there tends to be quite a variety in the colors and styles of each item. Some pencils have bright patterns, while others are just your basic #2 pencil. Some bags are colorful, while others are a simple beige color. 

I wonder if this becomes a problem when the kits are distributed. I can easily see a child feeling short changed by receiving the more basic supplies or being frustrated that the color they want is not in the kit they received. I find myself wondering if school aged Katie would be happy with the plainer supplies or if I would want the cooler supplies. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family that could afford school supplies. I didn’t have to make do with what was given to me. Coming from a place of privilege has benefited me in many ways, but the one I am currently wrestling with is that of choice. I get to choose my wardrobe, I get to choose what I eat, I get to choose even something as simple as the color of my backpack. 
I don’t tend to think of myself as a picky person, but honestly that’s probably because I tend to compare myself to other privileged folk. I know there are many other ways that privilege improves my life, just wanted to give my thoughts on one that has been coming up for me recently….
In other news Ferncliff life is going well! We recently had a pet blessing for several farm animals (see picture below). We got the opportunity to cheer on the Hogs at an Arkansas game a few weeks ago. It was fantastic to experience that game day atmosphere again! This week I will definitely be cheering on the Hogs again as they play against Auburn. Until next time, happy trails and ROLL TIDE y’all!

One thought on “The Privilege of School Supplies

  1. Lisa McGee October 22, 2016 / 11:26 pm

    Super proud of you! You continue to grow and amaze me in so so many ways. Love you tons! Roll Tide!


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