When school is about to go into session, radio shows can step up and make a difference by providing back-to-school supplies. Make it easy and fun to make listeners and sponsors eager to participate. Here are some ideas.

Back to School Supplies Ideas

Here are ideas that can be adapted easily for any show that targets parents of elementary school children

Stuff Backpacks With School Supplies

Help kids in underprivileged areas that can’t afford things they need for the start of the school year:

  • Design a great-looking backpack and have them custom-made. This is not nearly as expensive as it sounds and is a great hook for sponsors. Just be sure to not make it look like a Nascar vehicle with too many logos. Kids don’t want to carry around backpacks that make them look uncool. Even better: Have a design contest to crowdsource the design.
  • Tell the audience what is needed to stuff the backpacks with needed basic supplies and invite them to either come to a marathon event at a central location to drop off the items or purchase items from an Amazon Wishlist project. Find out what should be in the backpacks by consulting with school district officials. 
  • Donate the backpacks to low-income kids. Be sure to work with a qualified charity to make sure they get into the right hands.
See also  Welcome Back To School

Teacher WishLists

Budget cuts have caused many teachers to pay for their own supplies for the classroom. Many set up a wishlist on Amazon so parents and others can purchase items for their classes.

Here’s how you can get in the middle of it:

  • Set up a phone number with a recording so teachers can leave a voicemail about their class, school, what they need, and why.
  • Alternative: Set up an online form to gather the basic information, then call selected teachers to get audio.
  • Each day, select one teacher to feature on the air. Then link to their wishlist to encourage listeners to “clear their list”.
  • Be sure to follow up and let the teacher thank you after listeners respond.


Back To School promotions are somewhat challenging to pull off because shows have to start putting them together in the middle of summer, a time that’s interrupted with vacations. Plan ahead, start early, and get in front of this important annual promotion opportunity!