As August comes to a close, students, parents and teachers are preparing for back-to-school season. The new academic year means buying school supplies, planning school lunches and considering options like tutoring services to help make the school year go as smoothly as possible.
Heading back to school can be stressful, but these entrepreneurs aim to make it easier. Here are six businesses to check out before school starts.
Decorating lockers is a surefire way to make going back to school a little more fun for kids and teens. LockerLookz sells decorations made specifically to fit in and spruce up school lockers. Plus, the company has an online locker design tool, so students can see how their chosen decorations will look together and even purchase the entire design all together once they're happy with the outcome. The decorations are easy to install and won't damage lockers (so schools can rest easy). Decorations include wallpaper, photo frames, dry-erase boards, and even rugs and mini-chandelier lighting.
Most stores sell the same plain notebooks and folders. If you want to make things a little more personal, check out Frecklebox, an online store that lets you customize your school supplies. Frecklebox sells everything from binders, bookmarks and journals to lunch boxes, stickers and sketchbooks, all of which can be personalized with students' names and favorite prints and patterns. The store is also a great place to find gifts for kids, as you can shop by occasion, theme and age. [See Related Story: 7 Fun Businesses Started Just for Kids ]
Step away from the everyday classroom accessories and spice up your desk with accessories from Poppin. Their selection of colorful and whimsical supplies range from notebooks, desk organizers, planners and even filing cabinets. The simple designs, bright colors and fun patterns will make planning for the school year more exciting for your little one as they're sure to dazzle any classroom with these accessories. Poppin features a "most popular" selection, so you can keep up with the trends and be sure to have what kids want the most before they return to school.
Sometimes all it takes is a little help on a particular project or lesson for struggling students to make the grade. Chegg Tutors, formerly known as InstaEdu, is a great alternative to the typical tutoring service. The online-based tutoring service employs current students and graduates from top colleges around the country to help junior-high, high-school and college students with their assignments. Students can either sign up for traditional scheduled tutoring sessions or find tutors on-demand when they need immediate help with a particular assignment or problem. Tutors and students connect via a virtual lab that includes chat and video features as well as a shared virtual whiteboard and the option to upload documents.
If you're a parent struggling to pack a healthy lunch that your kids will love, Revolution Foods is the company you need. Revolution Foods creates healthy on-the-go lunch boxes (known as "Lunch Bundles") — think Lunchables, but without all of the artificial ingredients and preservatives — and nutritious snacks called "Granola Bundles" that are created specifically to help kids get more protein. The brand's Lunch Bundles come in five different flavors: turkey and cheddar, ham and cheddar, cheese pizza, popcorn chicken, and hummus and pita chips. Along with these retail products, Revolution Foods also offers programs that provide healthy, freshly prepared meals to schools throughout the United States.
Not all schools can provide teachers with the supplies they really need to make sure their students get the best education possible. AdoptAClassroom.org, a national nonprofit organization, aims to help teachers get the classroom supplies they can't otherwise afford. Teachers can register their classrooms with AdoptAClassroom.org, where they're provided with outreach materials to promote their donation page. Donors can also search for classrooms to adopt by teacher, school name, school type and poverty level. All donated funds go directly to teachers, and donors are given personal feedback from the teachers themselves to let them know exactly what their donations were used for and the impact it had on their class.
Additional reporting by Brittney Helmrich.