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Preschool teacher with kids having creative activities
Lordn—Getty Images/iStockphoto

Teachers need the support of parents to help them educate kids — and not just by backing up the lessons learned in the classroom. Increasingly, teachers need the financial support of parents.

As back-to-school season arrives, it's worth highlighting the alarming fact that the typical teacher personally shells about $500 each year on classroom supplies that districts no longer provide: A whopping 94% of public school teachers spend their own money on school supplies, a recent Department of Education survey found, with the average teacher spending $497.

Not surprisingly, the Department of Education found that teachers who work in schools where more kids qualify for free or subsidized lunches wind up spending more of their own money to make sure their students have the supplies they need.

As parents around the country are well aware, many schools (public and private) now ask families to contribute things to schools like paper towels, tissues, crayons, hand sanitizer, and trash bags so that teachers won't have to buy them out of their own pockets.

Fortunately, this is the time of year when stores like Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Office Depot are loaded with deals on just the kinds of school supplies that teachers need, including popular name brand items that are need badly in classrooms. The takeaway for parents is that it's easier and more affordable to help your kid's teachers. Here’s Money’s roundup of some of the best deals on classroom and art supplies you can buy on sale and donate to schools.

Pack of 18 3” x 3” Post-It Notes Pads: $10

These colorful Post-It Notes are crazy-cheap at both Office Depot and Amazon.

Courtesy of Amazon

Pack of Five Lined 4” x 6” Post-It Notes Pads: $10

These bigger, lined Post-It Notes will be a godsend to a busy teacher, and they're a sweet deal at both Office Depot and Amazon.

Courtesy of Amazon

Six-Box Pack of Kleenex Tissues, 160-Count: $8.48

Half a dozen boxes of tissues for just over a buck a box at Walmart is nothing to sneeze at (sorry, we had to!) $8.48

Courtesy of Walmart

Three-Pack of Puffs Basic Tissues, 180-Count: $4

Here's another name-brand option for spills and sniffles, available at Office Depot.

Courtesy of Office Depot

Crayola 24-Pack Crayons: $0.50

There are some amazing deals on basic art supplies out there. Pick up a few boxes of these classic crayons in two dozen traditional colors for just 50 cents at both Office Depot and Target.

Courtesy of Target

Crayola 12-Pack Colored Pencils: $1

Likewise, colored pencils in 12 vibrant shades are just a buck each at both Office Depot and Target (actually, we're sticklers for this sort of stuff so we'll point out that they're technically 99 cents at Target).

Courtesy of Target

Crayola 10-Pack Markers: $1

These broad-line markers in classic colors are not the washable kind, so this great Office Depot deal ($1 for a pack of markers normally listed at $3.49) is probably best for bigger kids.

Courtesy of Office Depot

Elmer’s Washable Glue: $1

This glue, however, absolutely is washable — and this four-ounce bottle also is just a buck (half off the usual price) at Office Depot.

Courtesy of Office Depot

Elmer’s 4-Pack Glue Sticks: $2

Glue sticks for 50 cents a pop? We'll stick (see what we did there?) with that Office Depot deal. But for another option, read on.

Courtesy of Office Depot

Elmer's Disappearing Glue Sticks, 28 Pack: $7.99

Want to buy in bulk? You can get 28 of these "disappearing” purple glue sticks (it dries clear) for just eight bucks at Target.

Courtesy of Target

12 Sharpie Pro King-Sized Markers: $9.82

Get a dozen chisel-tip Sharpie black permanent markers for just under 10 bucks at both Amazon and Walmart.

Courtesy of Walmart

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