The packs of markers and construction paper, the boxes of highlighters and glue sticks, and the stashes of extra books and sporting gear can really add up.
Many teachers spend more than $500 from their own pockets on school supplies — a figure that has grown as districts have cut their budgets and more parents are unable to buy their kids' supplies, according to the National Education Association.
To give local educators a hand, the United Way of Pasco County is conducting its first-ever "Stuff the Bus for Teachers" supply drive July 29-31 at Walmart and Publix locations across the county.
School buses will be in the parking lots from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. all three days so people can drop off donations of school supplies.
Items needed include pencils, pens, crayons, construction paper, copier paper, lined paper, dry erasers/markers, hand sanitizer, spiral notebooks, first aid supplies, tissues, paper towels.
For a complete list of supplies, visit www.unitedwaypasco.org or call (727) 845-3030.
The items will go to teachers who have already filled out their wish lists of items.
Donations may be brought to the school buses at the following locations:
• Walmart at 12610 U.S. 19, Hudson
• Walmart at 8701 U.S. 19, Port Richey
• Walmart at 8745 State Road 54, New Port Richey
• Walmart at 1575 Land O'Lakes Blvd., Lutz
• Walmart at 7631 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills
• Publix at Tower Oaks Terrace, 12101 Little Road, Hudson
• Publix at Mitchell Ranch Plaza, 3100 Little Road, Trinity
• Publix at Chelsea Place, 1346 Seven Springs Blvd., New Port Richey
• Publix at Southgate Shopping Center, 5127 U.S. 19, New Port Richey
• Publix at Riverwalk Crossings, 11400 Ridge Road, New Port Richey
• Publix at The Shoppes at Sunlake Centre, 18901 State Road 54, Lutz
• Publix at Collier Commons, 2121 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes
• Publix at Hollybrook Plaza, 5400 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., Wesley Chapel
• Publix at the Shoppes at New Tampa, 1920 County Road 581, Wesley Chapel
• Publix at Zephyr Commons, 7838 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills.