Get Back to School Ready: The Best Spots for School Supplies + Kids Haircuts in SWMI

kids haircuts

New Backpacks, Kids Haircuts and Other School Supplies for Fall 2022

I’m not sure where summer went, but my recent Target trip provided a glimpse into back-to-school prep. With shelves fully stocked with Sharpies and Ticongerogas, I know fall is just around the corner.

Although I’m not quite ready to give up flexible bedtimes and day trips to the beach, I am ready to get organized for the upcoming school year.

We’ve scouted SWMI for the best spots for traditional school supplies, clothes and the best kids haircuts. We’ve also found some fantastic school supply donation drives to help families stock up for the year.

No matter what your learning plans may be, we wish you a safe and happy school year.

Kalamazoo Public Schools

KPS is a progressive school district that wants to help you find the right learning option for your child. Whether it be in person or virtual, we have the best dynamic to empower your student.

Enroll for the 2022-2023 school year today!

Kalamazoo Public Schools

Where to Find School Supplies

Whether you’re looking for a Chromebook, a box of Crayolas or a face mask, we’ve rounded up the best options for families to stock up for this school year. Southwest Michigan also offers organizations to distribute supplies:

School Supplies Retailers

Classroom Supplies
For pencils, markers, folders and other typical classroom items, our readers prefer Walmart, Meijer, Office Depot and Target. Take advantage of drive-up options for curbside pickup to make things easier.

In addition to the typical big box retailers, families love LL Bean, Lands End, Eddie Bauer and Pottery Barn Kids for school backpacks.

Shopping Tip: be sure to verify bag size (many have size charts) to ensure all supplies will fit and your child can carry it easily.

Virtual School Supplies
Virtual learners will need a computer for home, but families may not need to purchase one. Check with your school first: many have computers available to loan.

Chromebook shoppers are most likely to find them at Walmart, Amazon, Staples and Best Buy. Families may also want to consider headphones and computer mice.

If your children are like mine, their formerly full-length pants are now capris.  The Children’s Place, Target, Walmart, Gap Kids, Aeropostale and Carters are some top-recommended spots. Two other favorites are resale shops Once Upon a Child and Second Childhood.


First Day Shoe Fund is a local nonprofit that helps K-5 students with new athletic shoes in Kalamazoo County’s public schools. Read more about their programs here.

Locally owned Little Chick Shoe Shop offers a guaranteed fit and will prorate them if your child outgrows them too quickly. You can find them in Oakwood Plaza in Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo Kids Shoe Store
Little Chick Shoe Shop is located at 1924 Whites Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49008

School Supply Drives

These upcoming events distribute school supplies and provide other support services to SWMI families:

Annual Backpack Bonanza, Generous Hands
August 6, 2022
South County Community/Generous Hands location
Income-qualifying children and their families looking for free back-to-school supplies and snacks may attend the annual Backpack Bonanza to be held on Saturday, August 6 at the South County Community/Generous Hands location. Parents and guardians must pre-register their child(ren); an adult must accompany all children during the event.
Back to School Bash 2022, Family Health Center
August 11, 2022
Family Health Center
Join us for the fun on August 11 for our FREE Back to School Bash!
• Carnival Rides
• Food
• Backpacks
• School Supplies
• Personal Care Kits
• Prizes
A recent child well-visit and up-to-date immunizations are required. Schedule an appointment by calling 269.488.0805.
Beyond the Backpack, Communities in Schools
Aug 13, 2022
In-person services include mental health clinicians, food support through Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes, Kalamazoo Public Library mobile library, Smile Savers Dental, America’s Best Vision screenings, and more.
Back-to-School Bags!, Comstock Township Library
Aug 22, 2022
Grab a back-to-school goodie bag full of small school supplies, candy, and library info!
*Bags are available in the Youth Department, one bag per person while supplies last. First-come, first-served.

Local Nonprofits for School Supplies

These Kalamazoo area organizations assist with traditional school supplies, food, and other support areas for local students from elementary school through college:

Communities in Schools’ Kids’ Closet


The CIS Kids’ Closet helps meet needs for clothing, personal care items, and school supplies for K-12 students so that they are ready and able to learn every day. Based on limited staff and storage capacity, we ask that all donations are new.

Generous Hands Inc


Generous Hands is a non-profit organization that provides backpacks of food every weekend to children who need supplemental food assistance.

First Day Shoe Fund


First Day Shoe Fund provides new athletic shoes to students at Kalamazoo County public elementary schools.

RAWK: Read and Write Kalamazoo

Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) is a nonprofit organization devoted to nurturing intellectual and creative confidence in youth in Kalamazoo County through creative writing workshops, summer camps, in-school programs, after-school tutoring, and community partnerships.

Supplies for Success

Mattawan Consolidated Schools

Supplies for Success assists students and families in need at the Mattawan Early and Later Elementary School, Middle and High school with new and gently used clothing.

Western Michigan’s Invisible Need Project

Western Michigan University

The Invisible Need Project works to support WMU students with unmet basic needs, including food, menstrual products, school supplies and other unexpected costs.

Kids Haircuts in Southwest Michigan

For many kids, a new ‘do is a fun back-to-school tradition as they gear up for the new year. We’ve rounded up top spots for kids haircuts, as suggested by local parents:

Coachlite Cutters
8850 Shaver Rd, Portage, 49024, MI
Great Clips
5903 Gull Rd, Kalamazoo, MI 49048
Hair by Logan
212 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024
Jude’s Barbershop
2050 W Centre Ave, Portage, MI 49024
Magnificent Hair by Michelle
919 W Milham Ave, Portage, MI 49024
Nick’s Barber Shop
115 S Main St, Vicksburg, MI 49097 
Refined Men’s Grooming
Samson’s Haircare Barbershop
254 E Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Sports Clips Haircuts
5304 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
7101 S Westnedge Ave, Portage, MI 49002
UncLee’s Barber Shop
1909 W Main St, Kalamazoo, MI 49006

Did we miss your favorite barbershop or salon for kids haircuts? Leave us a comment to update our list!

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