In our earliest days (since 1971), National School Products was a small teacher gift and supply store with a minimal staff and storefront. In order to maximize our ability to reach teachers, we developed a delivery route throughout our local counties.
At first, these deliveries were made not with a truck, but a school bus! It was a novel idea—instead of teachers coming to our store, the school bus came to teachers, stocked with the supplies they needed for everyday classroom use—glue, construction paper, paint, pencils, and more. We stocked a few hundred of the most useful supplies and resources, as well as any special order materials teachers had requested. When the bus rolled up outside a school each month, teachers would board the bus and conveniently make their purchases before returning to class.
As the demand for our singular selection of products became greater, we expanded from the small storefront to our first printed catalog—in 1976—and began accepting orders nationally. The response to our first catalog was enthusiastic, and from then on making deliveries with the lone school bus no longer made sense. We now serve teachers across the country—including Alaska and Hawaii—and beyond, in locations all over the world. We still hand deliver nearly all of our local orders, but these days we use a pickup truck instead of a school bus!
Certainly we’ve come a long way since those school bus days, and today, the internet allows us to deliver over 22,000 products to many different teachers—elementary or middle school teachers, reading specialists, ESL teachers, health teachers, guidance counselors, technology coordinators, and more. Kind of like the old school bus, our convenient web site offers teachers instant access to even more of the products they need every day.
A key factor in our growth over the years is our relationship with the manufacturers and publishers that continue to innovate resources that are useful, inspiring, and beneficial to teachers. We work with hundreds of publishers, and only select their very best to offer to our teachers. Today’s classroom is a very different place than it was 40 years ago, and National School Products continues to adapt to meet the classroom’s changing needs. Where blackboards have been replaced by whiteboards, cassette players by mp3 players, and reproducibles by e-books, National School Products has been a leader in helping teachers navigate the changing landscape. Today, whether it is interactive software for a SMART Board, Spanish materials for an ELL or ESL classroom, high-interest materials for struggling students in an inclusion classroom, or just a No. 2 pencil, we are prepared to support the demands of the 21st century teacher.