We're starting to price out packs for schools and, once again, it's stunning how the lists have changed.
Back in the day, 1991, when Terri thought of starting School-Pak, the first lists we received from schools had the usual items on it. A box of Crayons, some markers, a couple of folders and notebooks, maybe some colored pencils, a glue stick or two and some looseleaf paper.
We were so apprehensive that the packs cost more than $20.00. Who in their right mind would pay that much just for school supplies? I remember that first year when we went through all the work and sold just 1 pack at one of our 7 schools. We were doomed.
Eventually parents caught onto the idea of convenience and we began to grow. And so did the packs. Soon we were up to 6 glue sticks, 2 packages of paper 6 folders, 6 notebook, compasses, protractors, etc. You get the picture. The price went up yet parents bought because they wanted to be sure to have their kids ready for school.
Our first culture shock came in the late 90's when teachers began asking for tissue! Tissue!!!
What did that have to do with being ready for school?
OK. we added tissue. Of course the next year, teachers wanted 2 boxes of tissue since not everyone brought tissue. Fine, each pack got 2 boxes of tissue.
Oh boy! Sometime in the early 2000's, a new substance was found in schools that changed science and the way we live. They found ... lice!
Now all the headphones had to be wiped down with baby wipes so lice wouldn't spread. Makes sense. But shortly afterward it was noticed that kids had "dirt" on their hands. Here came the hand sanitizers. (Didn't schools have soap and water?)
Oh wait. Next came soft soap for the kids. And it kept growing.
This past year I worked on a quote for a school that was incredible. The teachers were asking for 6 containers (80ct) of baby wipes. A package of paper cups, 24 plastic forks, a roll of paper towels, 24 plastic spoons, 4 (yes 4) boxes of tissue, 3 containers of Clorox wipes and two boxes of ziploc bags (gallon and sandwich).
All told, the pack cost $94.48. When we took out the "grocery" items, the price dropped to $62.62. So the grocery items represented over 50% the cost of the school supplies.
Now with 20 kids in a class (although there are stories of 40 in a class)your looking at 800 sneezes per child or 16,000 to 32,000 sneezes per classroom. No wonder they need all those Clorox Wipes.
Someday maybe we'll go back to the old days. And then we'll lead all the competition by putting sleeves into the packs. They worked well in the past. (Of course, moms probably didn't like it.)