Monday, May 2, 2011

Chicago and John Henry

While in Chicago to train our wonderful new sales rep, Prem Glidden, I visited the “Bean” an iconic mirror-like sculpture in Centennial Park. Then I had the pleasure of attending “John Henry” a musical put on by the spirited youngsters at Kipp Ascend Elementary, ably lead by Ellen Davis. The musical is based on the book “John Henry: An American Legend” by Ezra Jack Keats, with script and songs by Aaron Brenner, of Kipp Houston. As the “playbill” states: “To our KIPPsters, John is a character who represents all of our values. He creates his own path; he continuously shows love to others; he inquires when he has questions; he makes it happen for his teammates by finding solutions to problems; and he demonstrates to all of us how to be the change by always having a good attitude and reminding us to never give up.

The children enthusiastically played their parts and it was hard to hold back the tears and they sang, danced and acted their way into our hearts.

Richard A. Lasser

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We're Happy To Help - Royal Child Daycare and Preschool

When Dorothy Loman of Royal Child Daycare in Columbus, Ohio contacted me about the needs at her center, I knew right away I wanted to help them. Royal Child Care is located in a low income neighborhood, but they’ve managed to stay in operation since 1995. What impressed me was that they believe in helping children explore the world beyond the limitations of their often perilous neighborhood. Their center environment is warm and inviting. In Ms. Loman’s words, “we are trying to make the children feel comfortable and secure in their classrooms.” Royal has been an NAEYC Accredited Center for the past 8 years. Ms. Loman goes on: “Being an accredited center is a goal we worked very hard to attain and maintain throughout these past 8 years. We became a One-Star Step Up To Quality center 3 years ago, which that means our program is aware that there are guidelines and standards that identify the experiences children should have at each milestone. But that wasn’t enough. Our center worked so hard at improving the lives of the children here we are now a Two-Star Step-Up to Quality Center. Hopefully; they will be inspired and encouraged to explore and set their sights beyond their experiences here.”

Teachers’ School Supply was happy to help Royal with a tumbling mat and badly needed classroom furniture. How can we help you?

- Richard A. Lasser

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Celebrate the Young Child Conference

Here at Teachers’ School Supply one of our very favorite past times, as you can tell from our previous blog entries, is to visit with our customers. My name is Bonnie, and I recently had a chance to travel to Phoenix, Arizona to do just that, while attending the Celebrate the Young Child Conference, hosted by the Association for Supportive Child Care (ASSC) and Arizona Child Care Association (ACCA) at the Glendale Civic Center. The conference focuses on workshops that enhance child care professionals’ understanding of child development and behaviors, as well as the state of child care in Arizona.

It is always our pleasure to know and speak to those that make our company what it is, as well as to contribute what we can, whenever we can. After the convention, with great support from one of our business partners, Early Childhood Resources, we were able to donate a small, early childhood table with three matching chairs, bilingual rugs and activity kit, a large classroom easel, cots and sheets and soft blocks, as well as a listening center and a rolling organizer -- some of which will go to filling small gaps in the needs of local daycares. Most of it will be used in the silent auction for the ASCC’s Child Care Bowl, which will in turn raise even more money and opportunity for the programs that serve thousands of Arizona families each year.

We are very happy to have been a part of this cause. What can we do for yours?

Bonnie Morrissey, Charter School Account Executive

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thanks TSS

I have been blessed to be a part of the Teachers’ School Supply family for the past five years. Two months after I started working here, I discovered that I was pregnant with my four year old daughter, Kaitlynn. She has been a welcomed part of the TSS family from that day on.

She has been going to her daycare center for the past three and a half years. They have been one of our customers for a long time. We, at Teachers’ School Supply, had the wonderful opportunity of donating a tricycle to them a few months ago and it was a big hit with the children. Kaitlynn came home and told me about how she and her friends were all riding it on the playground the next day.

I have received many wonderful things from TSS as well. My daughter was so excited when I brought home a new and colorful carpet for her room. She loves to play on it.

I would like to say “Thank You to TSS for being an important part of my life!”

Tammy Kamphaus - TSS

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


As members of the education community, we all know the importance of reading. We teach it, devise new strategies for encouraging it, promote it in every way we can. But do we, as busy professionals with families and tons of responsibility, take the time to read ourselves? Do we derive the tremendous pleasure available to us when we put ourselves in the hands of a great author and admire his beautiful descriptions or nod knowingly at his universal insights – which all too often apply directly to us. (Especially Tolstoy). But when? How do we find the time?

I’ve recently discovered Audible, the next iteration of books on tape. Audible is a subscription online service at ( that allows you to download full length books onto your computer, ipod, ipad or other device. Now, when I’m commuting or at the gym, I get to “read” the great books I’ve always longed to. In the past two years I’ve “read” War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Brothers Karamazov, Lolita (OK, enough Russians!), Sanctuary, The Old Man and the Sea, Richard III, The Way We Live Now, White Noise, Freedom, Ulysses, Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Sound and the Fury, The Great Gatsby, Lush Life, Midnight’s Children, Norwegian Wood, Let it Come Down, Indignation, The Dying Animal, American Pastoral (my Philip Roth period!), James and the Giant Peach (for my grandchildren and I to listen to on car trips), The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Don Quixote (one of the funniest books I’ve ever read, about the original Laurel and Hardy), Death in Venice, Blood Meridian (certainly the most beautiful, yet darkest book I’ve ever read), The Beautiful and Damned. One of the great bonuses of Audible is that often they hire the finest actors in the world to read. To listen to Jeremy Irons read Lolita, the French Lieutenant’s Woman and James and the Giant Peach heightens the enjoyment of the book even more. Other greats such as Donald Sutherland, Will Patton, Campbell Scott narrate other books. And when you listen to Toni Morrison herself reading Their Eyes Were Watching God, well…what can I say? I’ve even downloaded and listened to a few different kinds of French lessons, but I fear the only way to learn a language is to speak it daily with a native. So, I encourage all educators to take the time to enjoy the pleasure of a good book, at a time when you might actually be able to.

Richard A. Lasser

Monday, January 24, 2011

Teachers’ School Supply helps Donors Choose

Teachers’ School Supply helps Donors Choose to provide much needed school supplies, books and equipment to teachers in need.

Here’s how it works:
· After going to, teachers select the items they want from Teachers’ School Supply’s website.

· A description of those items and their total cost is then posted on the Donors Choose website.

· People from all over the country then donate what they can to support the project.

· Once it’s fully funded, Donors Choose lets Teachers’ School Supply know, and we ship the order to the teacher.

· After the items arrive, the teacher takes pictures of the children using the items in the classroom and sends -- along with handwritten letters of thanks from the children -- to Teachers’ School Supply,

But Teachers’ School Supply isn’t just a supplier. When we see a project may not get fully funded, we help out with a cash donation of our own to push it across the finish line. Here are a few letters of thanks from teachers whose school supply projects we’ve helped get fully funded.

To learn more about the great work Donors Choose is doing, click here:

Richard Lasser, President

Monday, January 17, 2011

New Catalogs Arrive Soon

I recently travelled from chilly Washington State to even chillier Minnesota to proof our Teachers’ School Supply 2011 catalog covers. It was seven degrees the night I arrived and the temperature continued to drop all night. But the next morning broke sunny and clear and by the time I reached pretty little Sauk Centre, I enjoyed a nice strong latte and some homemade bread pudding with caramel sauce. Thus fortified, I continued north through the lovely Minnesota prairie to the town of Long Prairie where I proofed the catalog cover and made some corrections so the catalog photos looked their best. And then back to Minneapolis. To my surprise, I passed a highway sign saying “Lake Woebegone Trail.” Being a fan of Garrison Keillor’s Prairie Home Companion,(in which he regales his audience with tales of his fictional hometown of Lake Woebegone), I couldn’t resist stopping to take a photo. That night I had a lovely vegetarian meal at Restaurant Alma where the standout dish was the celery root soufflĂ©. I got the recipe and we’re going to try it at home tonight. If you try it too, let me know how you like it!

-Richard Lasser
TSS President