Maybe you like shopping for school supplies.
Perhaps hauling the kids to the store, or to several stores, and traipsing up and down aisles looking for the right binders and folders, the markers and pens, the tape and glue sticks book covers while check off your list, trips your trigger.
If not, there's now a way to do it from home for any Wauwatosa public elementary school, and some private ones, with a few clicks. Then you just wait for it all to be packed and shipped to your door.
As of the coming school year, for the first time, all elementary schools have adopted the same supply list for each grade level, and a national company called School-Pak, founded in Milwaukee, has them all on its online shopping list.
Terri Schulist founded School-Pak in 1991 after a frustrating shopping trip to the store, searching for a "purple folder" that appeared on her son's suggested supply list.
With her husband, Gene, she put together a plan to provide packages of school supplies, based on teachers' lists, to surrounding schools.
That first year the participating schools included , (now ) and Catholic schools in Wauwatosa.
Within a few years, School-Pak was also serving , , and .
School-Pak has now grown to a nationally recognized provider of pre-packaged supply kits, listed as No. 1 on Google searches for "pre-packaged school supplies," "school supply kits" and "packaged school supplies."
Those searches have led to growth in the New York area, Northern Illinois, San Antonio and throughout Florida and other states.
"In the past, the Wauwatosa schools each had a separate list for each grade at each school," Terri Schulist said, "so parents at Lincoln would be asked to bring one set of supplies while parents at would be asked to bring a completely different set."
The lists were determined by the teachers and varied widely, she said.
"This year," Schulist said, "the school district has issued a single list for each grade, regardless of the (elementary) school. This will equalize the costs for parents."
Because it's a Milwaukee company, parents can shop online instead of in stores and still support the local economy.
School-Pak has put all of the district elementary schools, as well as Longfellow, Christ King and St. Jude, online at http://www.schoolpak.com/shopdisplaycategories.asp?id=44&cat=Wauwatosa.
As an introduction to the new lists, School-Pak is offering a discounted price on its elementary packs through Sunday. Parents can choose to have the School-Paks delivered to their homes (UPS charge applies) or they can pick them up at the School-Pak warehouse, 4001 W. Green Tree Rd., Milwaukee.
While the discount will end on Sunday, parents can continue to purchase until July 17. Supplies are limited for each grade at each school.