New Registry Launches for School Teachers to Create Classroom Wish List

A new online registry for teachers created by Minnesota-based Anderson's, is launching in time for back to school. Similar to registries for babies and brides, Gold Star Registry is designed to allow teachers to post a wish list of the supplemental classroom tools that enhance their learning environment, such as skill-builders, achievement awards and learning incentives. The registry provides the curriculum aids they need to teach and motivate students while enabling parents, parent-teacher associations and other supportive community members to contribute the exact supplies requested by the teachers.

According to a recent national survey conducted by Quality Education Data (QED), U.S. teachers spend on average $475 of their own money on supplies for their students and classrooms. Gold Star Registry aims to help alleviate pressure on teacher pocketbooks by enabling parents and others to contribute the exact supplies teachers indicate they need most. The service lets the teacher take advantage of the Internet to build upon the lists of classroom items needed that teachers typically send out at the beginning of the year.

"Gold Star Registry makes it possible to obtain the tools that will help students learn while also making it easy for parents and communities to provide meaningful support to their local teachers," said Katie Schervish, an elementary school teacher from St. Nicholas Academy in Louisville, Kentucky, who participated in the pilot launch of the new service. "While donations from parents or the parent teacher association are always appreciated, the items they give may not always align with our most pressing learning need."

Gold Star Registry Business Unit Leader and Program Spokesperson Judy McClellan said, "In many districts, school budgets simply cannot cover the cost of all the classroom supplies needed. Teachers committed to creating an attractive learning environment and providing the additional tools to help their students learn are buying the extras with their own money. Our registry enables teachers to get what they need without putting further strain on their own budget or that of the district. It effectively widens the circle of support for schools."

To use the service, teachers register at a website, There, they can build an online wish list from the more than 6,000 available products from 16 leading education publishers that have been recommended by teachers. They simply indicate the quantity of each item needed. Teachers can update their wish lists while also indicating the preferred delivery date of materials at any time throughout the school year.

Parents, parent teacher associations and others can then log onto an individual teacher's registry and purchase items, knowing that 100 percent of the gift goes directly to the teacher. They can make their selections fully confident that they are contributing supplies that the teacher and students specifically want and need. Purchases are shipped directly to the school, a convenience that saves donors time, effort and gasoline.

Gold Star Registry helps ensure that the items donors give will make a difference for the teacher and students. Parents will know the teacher needs specific items like workbooks, bulletin board sets, flashcards, stickers or award incentives that will help to enhance learning skills versus giving a gift specific to a teacher. "Although we appreciate the sentiment, many of us simply don't need another gift of a coffee mug," said Schervish.