By Stacey Holst
Director, Human Resources
As a mom and consumer, I really appreciate how paper and forestry products make life special, convenient and affordable each day - and I LOVE how boxes can be filled with magic and surprises. As an employee of AF&PA, I am proud to support our industry and happy to see our many products in the spotlight during this back-to-school season!
Take a recent shopping trip for sneakers with my seven-year-old, for example. It was amazing! You could almost see sparks bursting around them as they came out of the box - the shoes that make you run faster and farther than anyone else, dance like a pop star and get recruited for the NBA! New sneakers are definitely creating big back-to-school excitement. For me, the back-to-school ritual also brings sentimental feelings for today and yesteryear and creates a bit of pride.
Back-to-school shopping with my parents was always exciting. I remember coming home with a new box of shoes and tags hanging from a pile of “stylish” clothes. I also recall mounds of college ruled paper, colorful notebooks and folders and a stack of wooden #2 pencils perfect for writing my name in bubble letters. September felt like the start of a new year rather than a new grade, and I now relive it vicariously through my son.
While there is something nostalgic about the back-to-school season, a lot has changed over the years. School shopping still involves a new set of fall clothes, but the pile of receipts is more evident than I remember. The school supply list has also been updated a little since my time (i.e., headphones, colored pencils, and 3x3 sticky-notes); however, my son still needs tons of composition notebooks, multi-colored folders, #2 pencils, boxes of tissues and those big boxes of individually-wrapped crayons.
For a change of pace, this summer we conveniently ordered a school supply set that will be boxed and delivered to my son’s new classroom. Of course, he would prefer a home delivery since he is anxious to label everything with personalized stickers. I see the appeal and wish I had some of those as a kid.
We also have some new traditions, like decorating my son’s room with paper streamers and banners to celebrate the new school year and taking pictures with a “first day of school” poster before the day starts. I have to enjoy every minute I can since he is already planning his great escape to college and into the world.