being a teacher

Meet our Emergency Stash Cart

A few weeks ago I came across a genius idea from my friend, the incredible Julie Jee. She showed images of a plastic rollaway cart filled with emergency supplies that her students had requested. As Julie so often does, she shared this great idea freely through Twitter and in that sharing, I was inspired. It made perfect sense, after all, I am sure there are things that our students would love access to without having to ask.

So I followed her plan. I asked our students what they wish we would have an emergency stash of, I gave them a few examples. It was a paper survey so that they could speak freely without others knowing what they wanted. Immediately a few things stood out; gum, hair ties, snacks, and menstrual products.

So then, I purchased a cart. Now, one of my resolutions this year is twofold – spend less money on items for my classroom (because I spend way too much of my own money) and also, don’t use Amazon if I can help it (because they don’t need more money). This time I made an exception and ordered this cart, which then arrived rather quickly, I was pretty excited!

Last week, I unveiled the cart. All organized and ready for their usage. I introduced the items in each drawer to every class. We discussed that they should be mindful of usage as I was funding most of the stuff, and that it was to be used for emergencies and not because they felt like snacking their way through class. We also discussed taking care of the things in the cart like the fidgets, as well as continuing to follow school expectations when it comes to eating snacks and such.

So what does it look like and what is in it?

Tucked in a corner, with everything labeled pretty much.

 Shelf 1: Gum, mints, and fidget toys to be used in class when needed.

Shelf 2: Band-aids, hand and body lotion, nail scissors, mouthwash, wet wipes, and shower wipes – I will be adding deodorant spray as soon as I get some.

Shelf 3: School supplies – extra pens and pencils, binder clips, paper clips of various sizes, rubberbands, post-its, and also erasers.

Shelf 4: Hair ties, hairspray, a comb (that I wash after use), cottonballs and q-tips, hair pins.

A close up – I did add a few organizer baskets after this

Shelf 5: Utensils for eating.

Shelf 6: Napkins, ziplock bags, and dryer sheets in case of static.

Shelf 7: Tampons, pads, liners.

Shelf 8 + 9: Granola bars, trail mix, chococalte, and fruit snacks.

Shelf 10: Food, right now Cup of Noodles for those who need lunch.

I figured that students would use it a lot the first few days and I was right. Lots of mints, gum, and snacks have been taken. But also the other things have been in need. Now almost a week in, it is quieting down a bit. The students use it when needed, we have re-discussed when to use it after grabbing several snacks at a time became a minor thing, and as always students express their thanks.

But it’s not for them to be grateful more so than they are or for me to feel great about myself. It is for all of our kids to just have one more way to navigate school that may make their day better. An easy idea to give kids what they might need even as we attempt to address all of their needs. I am so grateful to Julie for sharing the idea the first place because her idea is now impacting our students in Oregon, Wisconsin, perhaps me passing it on here will allow it to impact others as well.

If you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page. If you like what you read here, consider reading my latest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child.  This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block.  If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book  Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students

6 thoughts on “Meet our Emergency Stash Cart”

  1. This is a wonderful idea and on my list of things to create for my kids. How did you survey their needs? I also have a great resource to help your budget which I came across on some FB post awhile ago. The company is NAEIR. Here’s the link to the teacher information page. https://www.naeir.org/teachers/teachers-program-overview/ I have placed several orders over the past two years and saved tons.

  2. Lovely and useful idea! Have you ever thought about applying for a Donors’ Choose grant to fund your project? I bet people all over the country would like to support this great endeavor…. Thanks for inspiring me. Nancy Krebbs, Library Media Specialist nancy.krebbs@lubbockisd.org

    Dupre Elementary 2008 Ave. T Lubbock, TX 79411 806.219.5417

    Parsons Elementary 2811 58th St. Lubbock, TX 79413 806.219.6459

    “What a school thinks about its library is a measure of what it feels about education.”Harold Howe

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s