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Kids & Family

(BPT) - It's back to school season again. Time for schoolwork and sports, plays and parties, friends and field trips. For students, parents and teachers, this is an exciting time of year. Yet for teachers, the start of a new year can also be unnecessarily expensive.

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Multi-talented recording artist, actor and Think It Up Ambassador Nick Jonas helps to raise awareness of the need to support learning projects in classrooms across the country with support from Staples for Students.

Research shows that each year most teachers spend on average more than $400 of their own money to provide supplies and materials for their classrooms.

This year however, you can help ease this burden on your favorite teacher and school by showing your support with any of these five tips:

* Volunteer. You can help your child's teacher and your school just by volunteering. Chaperones and volunteers are always needed for school activities. Ask your child's teacher if they have a volunteer sign-up form so you can participate. You should also make sure you are ready and willing to undergo a background check. Once you are approved, you may have the opportunity to help in the classroom, the library or at dances and sporting events.

* Think It Up. There's a creative solution for any problem. With this in mind, Staples has pledged $10 million to support Think It Up, a program dedicated to the support of student-powered, teacher-led projects. Think It Up allows students to work with their teachers to identify passion projects for their classrooms and these projects are crowdfunded on Thinkitup.org. You can learn more about the individual projects by visiting the site and you can support Think It Up by donating at your local Staples store.

* Join the club. If your child is in middle school or high school, their school probably has a booster club. Why don't you join it? Many booster clubs revolve around sports teams but there are also clubs for theater, speech or music as well. These clubs orchestrate fundraisers to grow revenue for their group and they could certainly use your help.

* Get shopping. Teachers spend plenty of their own money to outfit their classrooms so make sure you do your part by getting your child everything he or she needs for the upcoming school year. Staples has the items your student needs including notebooks, two-pocket folders, index cards, composition books, Crayola crayons and more. Why not pick up a couple of things for your favorite teacher's classroom as well?

* Use your talents. Everyone has their own special talents that make them unique, put yours to use in support of your child and his or her school. Help the class with a large project or serve as a tutor or career mentor. Use your talents to help and your efforts will benefit students today and in the months and years ahead. What could be better than that?

You can help to make it a great school year for everyone. So go on, get creative and put your talents to use. You'll be amazed by what you can teach and what you learn.

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