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Several asked me to post a hit.

What about a contribution in their honor to help Greg Mortenson build 
schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan?  My friends and I are starting to 
request this type of a gift rather than another  "thing".
Would a local "Dairy Queen"  sell gift certificates for a small amount 
like $1.50 to $2.00 for each teacher?  Some DQ's even have bookmarks 
that they give away to schools for a cone which they might also include.
One year the guidance councelor/student ministry teacher made a video tape. The 
kids were invited to come to his office during lunch, study hall etc and record 
messages to their favorite teachers. (He managed to do this without any of the 
faculty knowing). Without any planning their was at least one message for every 
teacher on the campus. He played the resulting tape at a faculty inservice and it 
was well received.
Maybe you could have the kids recognize the teachers during morning announcements 
in some way. With "shout out" to teachers or departments.
Have fun and get creative. As you well know teachers already have a supply of apple 
items and mugs!
I'm not sure if this will work but we give away one dollar lottery scratch off 
tickets for teacher appreciation day!
While not quite as cheap as Oriental Trading, how about Upstart?  They have great 
small posters for classrooms, bookmarks, mugs, etc.
Try I have found some good things through them.
A gift most teachers like is a gift certificate to the local car wash or
for a cuppa joe at the local Starbucks or other Espresso establishment.
In past years, teachers have been given (not in the same year) water bottles with 
school name and mascot, zippered soft lunch bags with school name and mascot, new 
lanyards for our nametags, lunch provided by the PTA for the week of teacher 
appreciation (parents were allowed to send in homemade goodies), one year we won 
lunch provided by Outback, one day the principal BBQ's hamburgers and hotdogs, one 
year he served ice cream sundaes, Chick-Fil-A donated gift cards for a free lunch, 
cookie bouquets, hired a massage therapist to come in and give 15 minute back 
massages throughout one day during teacher break times. I always try to include 
some free books from the book fair, since that is one thing under my direct 

Check your local Chamber of Commerce. In my town they host a beginning of the year 
breakfast and chamber members donate free raffle prizes.
I used to be a National Beta Club sponsor, and we once glued a
Hershey's kiss to a cutout of a pig (you can use a die cut machine or
buy a pack at the local teacher supply store).  We added the words,
"Have a hog and a kiss from the Beta Club!"

If you do an archive search, there have been some cute ideas for
volunteer gifts that would work.
My principal gives us gifts.  Ink pens work well.  Calendars do as well. 
Also little flash lights.  
Have you tried Dollar Tree?  I was fortunate this year to find great baskets at a 
and plan to fill them with a can of pop, a bag of unpopped popcorn, and some
candy.  Shredding colored paper in our paper shredder will work as a cushion
in the bottom of the basket as well as be decorative.  I usually purchase
about 75 items for this activity each year so that's why I try to steer away
from engraved items as they are much too expensive. 
We order many things from a company called "Positive Promotions."  Reach 
them at  They have items for almost every imaginable 
type event, many of which can be monogramed. 
This year the PTA at the school my kids attend managed to get 56 
donations so far from local businesses, ranging from gift certificates 
for massages to gift certificates for floral arrangements.  On Friday of 
teacher appreciation week, after a week of catered lunches, desserts 
supplied by parents, we'll have the drawing for teachers/staff.  We 
expect to have enough donations that there will be enough for everyone 
to get something. 
I used to work for an awesome vice principal who would buy candy for the staff and 
attach tags with inspirational/thank you messages such as:

a roll of lifesavers "you're a lifesaver"

a nutty type chocolate bar "sometimes this place makes us all a little nuts"

a peppermint patty "your efforts 'mint' alot to me"

and that's the only ones I can remember.  But my point is, you could get creative 
and run with something like this for not too much $$$.
I have helped with the Teacher Appreciation Week gifts for our IEA local for 
years. We like to give candy bars with attached labels bearing "punny" 
messages. Over the years, we've purchased a wide variety of different candy 
bars. (The local store lets me know in advance which ones will be on sale 
that week.)

Among the messages have been:

Teachers deserve an extra Payday every month! [Payday bars, of course]
Teachers are worth a mint. [York Peppermint Patties]
District Staff--All for One and One For All! [Three Musketeers]
Teachers Are Valuable People!  [$100,000 Bar]

Candy always goes over well with school folks. It's simple and inexpensive 
and our committee has fun coming up with new puns, depending on the 
available candy bars.

"How we learn is what we learn." -- Bonnie Friedman 


Tedine "Teddy" Soule, Librarian
Logansport High School
P. O. Box 549
Logansport, LA 71049

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