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Chicago Schools and Groupon Team Up to Help Needy Students

Have $12? Starting Tuesday, Chicago residents will be able to buy a Groupon daily deal that purchases school supplies for low income students.

Last month Chicago-based Groupon partnered with several local schools to teach students how to write copy for their daily deals. Now they're proving that their involvement in public education wasn't just a one-time thing. From Tuesday through Thursday, Chicago residents can use the site to buy a $12 daily deal that's actually a donation to cover the cost of school supply kits for the city's low-income students.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Kitz for Kids program will provide "glue, erasers, markers, storybooks, notebooks, rulers and pencils" for students. The need is certainly there—85 percent of the district's 409,000 students come from low income families, and over 15,000 students are homeless. Chicago Public Schools had already planned to purchase 6,000 kits for the city's neediest students, so the Groupon deal will certainly expand the effort.

Plenty of other cities share Chicago's economic demographics, so it would be nice to see Groupon offer the deal in other cities, too. Deals like this are especially necessary since districts have slashed budgets and schools are asking families to purchase more supplies to compensate, including reams of copy paper and dry erase markers. Last year I spent over $100 on school supplies for my two sons, and I didn't even purchase everything on the lists provided by their teachers. As I shopped, I thought about all the lower-income kids who'd have that awkward moment on the first day of school where they'd have to tell their teacher that they didn't have a particular notebook or marker.

I hope plenty of Chicagoans take advantage of Groupon's $12 deal so that on the first day of school, kids can stop stressing over supplies and just start learning.

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