Monday, August 31, 2009

Recognizing the Value of Quality Products in the Classroom Part 1

The days of substandard learning materials for classrooms around the country may be brought to an end by the stimulus package approved by President Obama. The package will include an extra $2.1 billion to the annual Head Start Program budget in order to provide classrooms with better materials, furnishings, and teaching aides. This is in addition to the $6.8 billion already offered to the schools and centers each year, and the money is set to be distributed in September.

This comes at a time when households are pinching every penny and additional emphasis is being put on education at both the early elementary and college levels. Although hiring qualified individuals to teach and direct students in a primary factor in reaching the nation's educational goals, those individuals will have a hard time teaching students if they are forced to use aging, broken or outdated tools and materials.

The money will be spent on important classroom essentials, including furniture, lockers, educational toys, sensory products, and other classroom furniture products. A few of the most important of these materials, as well as the importance of choosing quality over price, are listed below:

Classroom Furniture and Storage

Although the furnishings placed inside the classroom often go unnoticed by parents and students, keeping an organized and well maintained classroom setting is pertinent to overall learning. Many classrooms are currently equipped with compartments that are too small and overcrowded to hold student essentials, and many are near falling apart, making them a safety hazard for playing children.
The new stimulus money will be spent to purchase quality cubby spaces and storage lockers, as well as tables and chairs. The benefits of choosing top of the line products by manufacturers like Mainstream are many. New items will not need to be purchased as often, making them more cost efficient on a long term scale. They will also be more pleasurable to use and work with, enforcing learning by providing more comfortable working conditions for students and teachers alike.

Educational Toys

Emerging research has brought about new and exciting toys for children in preschool all the way through early middle school. Although classics like block toys and visually stimulating toys will always be relevant, newer varieties offer more enhanced learning to the mix when used in conjunction with old favorites.
Purchasing these new items will not only provide BETTER toys to classrooms, but will make it more likely that each teacher will have enough toys to go around.

Library Items

Buying new and more spacious tables, chairs, and book storage units for libraries not only will save money on replacing furniture every few years; but will also help books and other materials last longer by properly keeping them safely and securely stored. Without money being spent on buying books to replace damaged or lost items, more can be spent on buying new reading materials, enabling schools to offer a wider variety to students of all ages.

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