Free pencils are always welcome in households with school kids. If you’re a parent of any 7- to 15-year-olds, you know how quickly they use up (or lose) these pencils.
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If you enjoyed my post about free office supplies and free pens, or you’re trying to save money this year, I hope this post can be of help.
6 Ways to Get Free Pencils Regularly
It’s not hard to find free pencils. You just need to know where to look.
The following 6 ways will help you get all the free pencils you could ever need.
1. Free Pencils From Bookstores and School Supply Stores
The cool thing about pencils is that they are pretty cheap to produce. As such, many stores can easily give away pencils as part of their promotions.
- Buy this set of books and get free colored pencils by mail
- Look out for back-to-school promos. Check big stores like Staples or Walmart for freebies. June to August is usually when back-to-school promotions begin, so if you’re shopping for supplies, check for freebies first before checking out your cart.
Note that this method would require you to buy something in order to get the free pencils.
2. Request Directly from Manufacturers
Visit the websites of pencil makers like Ticonderoga, Faber-Castell, General Pencil Company, ForestChoice, Staedtler, Rotring, U.S.A. GOLD Pencils, and so on.
Once you’re on the official website, do these 3 things:
- Join the company newsletter. Some companies will send you freebies just by signing up for their newsletters.
- Look for links to their social media platforms and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. Promos, contests and giveaways are usually hosted on social media, so be updated.
- Send an e-mail via the contact us page, requesting free pencils with your name, shipping address and other details.
3. Homeschooling & Family-Oriented Blogs
Bloggers who talk about homeschooling, raising school kids, and other similar topics are usually in-the-know about new promos.
Those who attract thousands of readers, listeners, or overall followers have an edge since pencil manufacturers and other companies directly contact these bloggers in hopes of promoting their products.
As such, if you’re interested in free pencils and other school supplies, it is just reasonable to follow bloggers such as:
- This Reading Mama
- Confessions of a Homeschooler
- I Can Teach My Child
- Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers
- Homegrown Learners
- Meaningful Explorations
- Simple Homeschool
4. Promotional/Marketing Agencies
If you’re not really picky about design and just want a reliable pencil for day-to-day writing, or teaching your kid to write the ABCs, then you’ll never run out of pencils when you hunt them at promotional and marketing companies.
Aside from pens, umbrellas, mugs, hats, and t-shirts, pencils are one of the most common items companies give away for promotion.
The downside to getting these freebies is that the company name, website, phone number and other details are usually printed on them. Another disadvantage to promotional pencils is that you only receive one or two pieces at a time, instead of an entire box of pencils.
The rentacalc.com free pencils is a good example of this. Their promo goes like this:
“If you are an educator currently teaching in the United States, you can request a box/package of FREE #2 HB Dixon Ticonderoga pencils for your class/es here. The pencils are branded with our logo, do not come in original packaging, and may not be sold separately or in bulk. They are intended to be given away. Limit one pencil per student.”
Sounds good? If so, you can try your luck with 4imprint.com, Intur, AnyPromo.com, and Totally Promotional to get you started.
5. Non-Profit Organizations Free Pencils
If you are short in cash that even a box of pencils would hurt your budget for the month, there are non-profit organizations and charities that operate to help people with exactly the same problem as yours.
- KidSmart – This organization’s mission is to empower children in need to succeed in school by providing free essential tools for learning. KidSmart’s “Push for Pencils” program rallies the support of local businesses to collect pencils and school supplies to support kids who live in poverty on their journey back to school. Unfortunately, this program is only available in St. Louis, Missouri.
- Pencils of Promise – When founder Adam Braun began this non-profit org in October 2008, his goal was to provide impoverished kids from around the world with pencils. Today, this group of big-hearted people support educational programs in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos, as well as provide pencils and school supplies to kids and schools all over the world.
- Vent for Change’s “Share a Pencil Day” and “Pencils with Purpose“– These two programs are based in the United Kingdom, but offer a unique way to get or give free pencils to those in need. “Share a Pencil Day” is an educational day wherein regular kids share a pencil with another student, so they are able to appreciate how it feels to have less or no tools available to support their education. “Pencils with Purpose” give away pencils to the less fortunate.
I’m sure there are more charities like these around. (Do sound off below if you know of any other non-profit organizations giving away free pencils…)
6. Special Freebies For Educators Only
On average, teachers in America spend $800 (or as much as $4,000) each year from their own pocket on school supplies for their students.
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If you’re a teacher, you know how precious free pencils can be. The good news is there are many resources around serve to bridge this gap and help you buy supplies for your class without having to spend a cent from your own wallet.
- Adopt-A-Classroom – This program is pretty cool. It matches a donor with his/her chosen school or teacher based on personal preferences or totally random. Donations are made in the form of online credit, which allows teachers to “purchase” supplies from a network of affiliates connected to Adopt-A-Classroom.
- DonorsChoose.org– This is similar to Adopt-A-Classroom, except teachers post exactly the supplies they need, whether this be musical instruments or art supplies, or even books and laboratory equipment. Donors then pick which “request” they want to fund. The best thing about DonorsChoose.org? It is available for K-12 schools in all 50 states and about 70% of teacher requests are successfully funded.
- Treasures 4 Teachers – This initiative is pretty cool because not only do businesses help teachers and school kids in need of school supplies with their donations, but redirecting unused or extra supplies (instead of just throwing them away) actually solve a major waste problem.
The best thing about donations for teachers is that they often come in boxes, so you’ll rest easy that every child in your classroom gets his/her own.
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The Bottom Line
Free pencils for teachers, students, and even homeschooling parents are always around – you just have to know where to look or learn to ask for help.
For those looking to supplement their school essentials, check out this list of free books and ways to get free electronics.