Now you might be asking yourself, "why does a secondary English teacher need so many crayons?" Truth be told, the answer is simple. I need them because they are a great tool for teaching writing. I use my tubs and tubs of crayons almost every single month when I have my students write essays.
Since I teach a lot of EL students and struggling writers, I use crayons as a part of my instruction, and I teach my students how to color code their essay. As students brainstorm for and outline their essay, each body paragraph is assigned a color. Once they formulate their topic sentences, my students then underline each topic sentence in that same color. From there, I instruct my students to underline each portion of their thesis in the correct, corresponding color.
After talking to my managers, they agreed that it was wasteful, so, with permission, I kindly asked the bussers and servers to save the crayons (new and even used) for me. I placed a crayon donation box near the bussing section in the back area of the restaurant (where the bussers take the tubs of dirty plates to sort and stack), and everyone saved the crayons instead of throwing them away!
If you notice, many restaurants follow a similar practice; they throw away practically new crayons. These are crayons that can be used by kids across the nation in classrooms that desperately need more supplies. If you have a restaurant that you frequent regularly, speak with the manager about saving the crayons. If the manager agrees, supply a clearly marked plastic shoebox to the restaurant, and collect the crayons on a regular basis. You will be amazed at how quickly the crayons add up. Sure, you will most likely only get three or four colors, but for color coding essays, it is the perfect amount!