Celebrate August and back-to-school time by contributing to your community through a school-supply drive.

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August back-to-school sales can be exciting except for the parents who can’t afford school supplies for their children no matter how good the bargains are.

The same is true for teachers, who are scrambling this month to get their classrooms ready and to prepare for students whose families may not have the resources to buy school supplies.

Seattle Times readers can help needy families and teachers meet those essential needs. The editorial board’s school-supply drive is one way to help. All the money donated is split three ways to help Hopelink, the YWCA Seattle-King-Snohomish and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness buy backpacks and school supplies for thousands of children who receive other support services from these organizations.

Another way to help is by giving to smaller organizations collecting school supplies in their own communities, like the Northshore School Foundation, which is trying to fill a school bus full of backpacks and supplies this summer.

Teachers who desire special equipment like math games or molecule models have been turning to organizations like DonorsChoose.org. For colored pencils, books and art supplies, most pull out their wallets. Public schoolteachers spend nearly $480 a year on school supplies, according to a study by the National Center of Education Statistics.

Several local organizations have helped amplify the work of DonorsChoose.org by matching donations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Pearl Jam’s “Home Shows” project. DonorsChoose.org is worth checking out, even just to see what creative teachers are doing in their classrooms. For example, one Seattle teacher seeks donations so she can buy color-changing lanterns for her room’s “calm down space.” Another teacher is looking for graphing calculators for low-income pre-calculus students. And another wants to bring tablet computers into her kindergarten classroom, where many of the students are learning English for the first time,  so they will have another way to study math and reading.

If you have the money to give, spread the back-to-school joy a little further by giving to the editorial board’s school-supply drive, a local drive that helps children in your town, or an organization like DonorsChoose.org to help teachers make their classrooms wonderful places to learn.