Thirty-five per cent of school-aged children in Canada will begin the 2013 school year without the necessary supplies, according to a survey of Canadian teachers and educators. Almost one fifth of teachers (18 per cent) believe this percentage will increase over last year. To help make sure students have essential supplies, Staples Canada has launched the eighth annual Staples for Students School Supply Drive. The goal this year is to raise more than $1.5 million in supplies for local charities, schools and school boards across the country.

“Students deserve the opportunity to start the new school year with essential supplies,” said Steve Matyas, president of Staples Canada. “We all want students to do their best at school and later in life, and having basic supplies plays a surprisingly important role in having the confidence to do that. Not having a pen or notebook may seem small, but in reality it often represents a major setback for young students, especially at the start of the school year.”

The survey of educators indicated the leading factors contributing to the shortage of essential supplies include: financial strains (67 per cent,) cost of supplies (59 per cent,) and reliance on schools for supplies (55 per cent). In addition, 28 per cent of teachers believe the problem is due in large to poor communication or lack of understanding, leading to parents being uncertain about what supplies to purchase.

To make sure customers get exactly what they need, Staples stores are equipped with resources such as lists of basic supplies needed for each grade. Associates are also trained for the back-to-school season to help customers find the items they require for a successful school year.

The 2013 Staples for Students School Supply Drive takes place in all provinces and two territories from July 27 until September 9, 2013. In Quebec, the campaign runs from July 28 to September 1, 2013 and will support Le Club des Petits Déjeuners, a breakfast club and longtime partner of Bureau en Gros. Donations are accepted at all Staples locations in Canada.

Through this school supply drive, Staples and its customers have collected more than $6.3 million dollars in supplies and donations since 2005. It is one of the largest school supply drives in the country. A complete list of Staples locations and their partners is available online. All proceeds raised stay within the local community.

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The survey was conducted by Vision Critical for Staples Canada from June 10 to June 17, 2013 among 1,444 teachers and educators.

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