Tools for Schools
Tools For Schools is a reusable resource center located in Alachua County, Florida, providing new and gently used educational supplies to Alachua County Public School teachers at no cost. Tools for Schools operates with disadvantaged children in mind since many parents cannot afford the cost of a school lunch, let alone the necessary school supplies. Tools for Schools hopes to alleviate some of the economic pressure teachers are faced with every school year.
You can help! Every day, local businesses and households throw away countless items which still have educational value to them. Overruns and no longer needed supplies are just a few of the materials sent to the landfill instead of being reused. Imagine those items in the hands of eager students! They become useful supplies to help make math, science, and language arts concepts real.
Tools for Schools is a partnership of the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners and the Alachua County Public Schools that offers a place for teachers to shop for learning materials at no cost. Businesses and individuals provide the materials, and teachers visit the store to select items for their students.
View our Tools for Schools Amazon Wish List Here.
Finding a common bond
between children, teachers, businesses, and citizens is challenging. Tools for
Schools assists the community by providing students and teachers with the
supplies needed for success. We help the environment by avoiding disposal of
reusable items and conserving resources. Each year, in Alachua County, we throw
away more than 160,000 tons of garbage. Sixty-five percent of this refuse comes
from the commercial sector of our community and many of these items can, and
should, be reused.
Tools for Schools aims
to educate the community in recognizing the value of these materials and
getting them into Alachua County classrooms. Our staff can help businesses and
individuals recognize the beneficial portion of the waste stream. Please
contact us and for guidelines and advice on how you can help.
As a principal, your participation is essential to the success
of Tools for Schools. Please encourage your teachers to take advantage of this
wonderful opportunity to obtain free materials for their students.
ensure the success of Tools for Schools, please use the following guidelines:
- Assign a school liaison to communicate with the
resource center. The liaison will be responsible for the distribution of
information from the center and handle any administrative issues. Teachers
should direct questions and comments about the center through their
- Attend an orientation/shopping trip with your liaison
at Tools for Schools.
- Schedule a representative from Tools for Schools to
speak with all eligible teachers. He or she will:
- Explain the mission of Tools for Schools
- Explain where we get merchandise and how it is
- Explain store hours and the days of the week the store
is open or when the mobile unit is in the area
- Explain how we thank our donors and the importance of
student involvement in completing this task
- Tell everyone in our community about Tools for Schools
and encourage donations to the program
How to Shop
Alachua County public school teachers are allowed to shop once a
month at either the main Tools for Schools Center or at the Tools for Schools
Mobile Unit. Please visit the
"Tools for Schools Schedule" page for hours of operation, directions
and for more information.
The Tools for Schools center is open on Wednesday afternoons from 1:00pm-5:00pm during the school year. Any changes to these hours will be listed on the "Tools for Schools Schedule" page.
- Check in at the front desk. You must show a photo ID each time
you shop employee photo identification or driver's license accepted.
- Since store space is limited, we ask that no children or other
guests accompany you into the store.
- Please respect the limits we set on items. Take only what you
need for your classroom.
- After making selections, and appropriately marking them on the
checkout form, please check out at the front desk. Do not forget to sign your
form at the bottom.
- All items are for school use only and may be taken by teachers
in Alachua County only.
- Sorry, we cannot hold items.
- Tools for Schools is not
responsible for merchandise after it leaves the premises
Support the Program
How You Can
Tools for Schools come in all forms! small, large, traditional, and
can donate items they no longer use such as office supplies and equipment,
school supplies, arts and crafts materials, facial tissues, paper towels and
You can also
hold a supply drive with your community organization, neighborhood, or
collecting items that are new or gently used is not your thing, a few dollars
go a long way to bring the essential learning materials to a student in need by
visiting our Amazon Wishlist for always needed classroom items.
We are always
seeking volunteers to help in the Tools for Schools store during open hours.
Fill out an application
go directly to Alachua County Public School teachers-DONATE TODAY!
Business Can Help
Tools for Schools offers a year-round opportunity for businesses, organizations and individuals to play an active role in our community. Everyone can provide school supplies, monetary donations or volunteer assistance to benefit the students and teachers in our schools. Join us in this partnership for Alachua County's children.
Here are some suggestions how, with little effort, your business can make a dramatic and positive difference in the lives of our kids.
- Donate out-of-date or left over materials (stationery, pens, pencils, notebooks), manufacturing by-products or castoffs. Remember, what may seem like trash to you, could be the treasure a teacher needs to inspire a student.
- If your business does not have such items, you can hold a materials drive and collect new or gently used school supplies. We are always in need of traditional and non-traditional school supplies. We will happily provide collection boxes and promotional materials to assist your business in a successful supply drive. Or if a fundraiser sounds more interesting, Tools For Schools graciously accepts monetary donations or visit our Amazon Wishlist because throughout the year it becomes necessary to purchase supplies in order to meet the needs of our students and these items are always in need.
Without a doubt, your business is a channel from us to other businesses. Spread the word and teach others to understand our needs and help us turn the trash from our business community into treasures for our children.
Call 352-374-5213 for details on how your business can help.
the year, Tools for Schools will ask businesses to sponsor supply drives. They
in turn will ask employees to donate new or gently used school supplies, such
as pens, paper, markers, crayons, glue, notebooks, folders, and more. Alachua
County employees ran the first supply drive and turned in enough materials to
stock the store for the first three months. A continual supply is needed for
these high-demand items can be found here on our Amazon wish list.
To sign up
for our Back-to-School Supply Drive, please call 352-374-5213.
This is a basic list of suggested items that teachers always can use in the classroom. Just because we do not list it does not mean it would not make a great learning tool! Our Amazon wishlist can be found here, and donations new and used are always appreciated.
General Types of Materials Needed
non-traditional learning tools
factory seconds or rejects
obsolete inventory/logo items
rock and mineral collections
small countable items
geometric figures (tangrams)
pens (black, blue or red)
dry erase markers
paper (all kinds)
craft paint (child safe paint)
All teachers are familiar with the costly burden
of supplying school materials for their classrooms every year. Tools for
Schools lightens this burden by providing an abundance of educational tools at
no cost. Public school teachers from the Alachua County School District have
access to the center. Teachers can earn additional shopping days by
A lack of materials infringes
upon a student's potential for learning and creativity. Tools for Schools
provides Alachua County's teacher with a greater variety of essential
materials, both traditional and non-traditional, at no cost for their students.
Local businesses play an extremely valuable role in the
community by becoming business partners and donating to Tools for Schools. Not
only will the business reduce their amount of waste, but they will be providing
free resources for educational use throughout the community. The Alachua County
Commission and the School Board of Alachua County recognize these businesses as
What once reflected negative
images of alcohol and tobacco sales is now a positive influence, benefiting
local children and teachers. The old convenience store located next to Williams
Elementary School, near Lincoln Middle School, is now Tools for Schools, a
reusable resource center for teachers.
Every day, valuable items are thrown away while resources are
unnecessarily used to create new materials. By reusing materials, we can help
our environment by conserving our natural resources and extending the life of
our landfills. Help reduce waste, conserve resources, and save money!