Schoola Blog

School Fundraising Tips & Success Stories from Schoola

9 Reasons Why Exercise Is Essential for Kids

Most people know exercise is good for kids, but do they know why? Not usually. Below, we’ve outlined some of the specific ways exercise helps kids develop healthy bodies, brains, and bones.

  1. Adopting good exercise habits at a young age reduces kids’ risk of developing some diseases later in life. For example, studies have shown that colon, prostate, uterine and breast cancer risk is reduced by exercise. By starting healthy exercise habits early on, your child will be well on their way to reducing their risk of disease.
  2. Thanks to its ability to release serotonin and endorphins, exercise helps children’s mental well-being.
  3. In addition to its emotional effects, endorphin release, like that provided by exercise, improves alertness and cognition. One study even showed that kids who exercised 10-20 minutes before a math test performed better than kids who were inactive before the exam.
  4. Exercise prompts muscles to transform glucose in the bloodstream into energy. This reduction of sugar in the blood lowers kids’ risk of diabetes.
  5. Kids’ self-confidence and motor skills both get a great boost from steady exercise.
  6. Bones develop through a person’s mid-20s, so it’s key to ensure healthy bone development at a young age. Exercise helps strengthen bones and increase bone density. This helps prevent osteoporosis later in life.
  7. Team sports are a wonderful way to help children develop key interpersonal skills needed in all areas of life.
  8. Aerobic exercise has interesting neurological benefits. Not only will it help prevent brain tissue loss as your child grows old, it boosts substances essential for the growth of brain cells, spurs the birth of new neurons, and increases the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain that helps with memory, spatial navigation, and the regulation of emotions.
  9. Exercise strengthens the heart, and lowers cholesterol and blood pressure. These benefits will help protect your child from heart disease, which is the leading cause of death among American adults according to the US Department of Human Services.

Incredible information, isn’t it? We hope this article inspires you to get your children (and yourself!) out there and moving. And if you need some extra motivation, treat everyone to a few fitness-ready finds from our athletic apparel section! Or, help girls get the exercise they need by shopping our Girls on the Run Collection.

5 Interesting Reasons to Buy Secondhand

Care about making sure your kids get to live on a healthy planet? How about saving money? Then, you should be shopping secondhand. Thousands of Americans shop secondhand through sites like Schoola, and here are five reasons why you should join them!

1. You’ll Protect the Planet in a Big Way

Shop Secondhand to Keep Water Clean

Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in existence. Making just one kilogram of fabric generates an average of 23 kilograms of greenhouse gases (that’s huge!). Plus, clothing manufacturing involves the use of many chemicals that have been shown to pollute water sources. And did you know that it takes, on average, 700 gallons of water to produce one t-shirt? Buy secondhand, and you’ll prevent pollution and save water.

2. You’ll Save Mountains of Money

Piggy Bank

The average American family spends $1,700 on clothes each year. That’s no small potatoes. If you shop at secondhand with stores like Schoola, you can bring that cost down by up to 70%.

3. You’ll Help Eliminate Waste


By purchasing preloved clothes, you keep perfectly amazing items from going to waste. Nearly ⅗ of all clothing ends up in a landfill within a year of being made. As abandoned clothes break down (if they can even break down at all), they leach harmful chemicals, namely those used in their production processes, into nearby land and water sources. In addition, they create a large amount of methane gas. Landfills are a leading creator of methane gas which is, in turn, a big contributor to climate change.

4. You’ll Do Good for Global Good

Fabric Vendor in Senegal

When you buy secondhand finds, you do good for people around the world. Currently, thousands of pounds of secondhand clothes are sent for sale abroad. Not only does this result in a huge carbon footprint, it affects others’ livelihoods. Imported secondhand clothes create a practically insurmountable amount of competition for local textile industries in other countries.  By buying secondhand, you help decrease the number of garments sent abroad and, in doing so, support clean air and craftspeople worldwide.

5. You Can Help Schools!

Schoola School Fundraising

If you shop secondhand at Schoola, you’ll help kids worldwide get access to a better education and happier, healthier life! We donate 40% of all proceeds to save art, music, and PE programs at schools. So, each time you get a great find from Schoola, you better a child’s future. Now, that’s something you can feel fantastic about!

Take a Stand. Shop Secondhand.

Hopefully this gives you a good idea of why shopping secondhand is a first-rate idea. Next time you need new duds or feel that itch to shop, pop on over to our site and get all the garb you desire, free of guilt!











Perfect Your Spring Break Packing List

Between shuttling the kids to sports practice and preparing school lunches, it can be hard to plan spring break travel, let alone worry about what to pack when the day of departure arrives! To help you keep all your ducks in a row, we compiled spring break packing lists for a few popular destinations.

Beach Vacation Packing List

family spring break at the beach

If your family is bound for the sand and sun, here are essentials you’ll want to tuck in your luggage:

  • Swimsuits and towels for ocean-side afternoons
  • Sunhats and sunscreen to keep everyone safe from UV rays
  • Sand toys for keeping the kids entertained
  • Sandals or water shoes to protect sensitive feet
  • Beach coverups, like sundresses for girls and a tee or tank for boys
  • Water bottles and snacks to keep everyone happy and healthy
  • A reusable bag for collecting shells

Big-City-Bound Packing List

spring break vacation in the city

Heading off to an urban adventure? Here’s what to bring:

  • Good walking shoes for a day of pounding the pavement
  • A comfortable outfit for afternoons of exploring; shorts and a t-shirt are a fantastic choice for everyone
  • A nice outfit for going to the theater or special evenings out; we recommend a dress for girls and a button-down for boys
  • A backpack or large purse for carrying your camera, snacks, water bottles and subway tickets
  • A journal for each kid so they can record what they saw and learned each day

Camping Adventure Packing List

family spring break camping

For a foray into the woods, packing smart will get you far. Make sure you remember:

  • Outdoor-ready clothes from brands like REI, Patagonia, The North Face or Columbia
  • A hoodie or flannel to fend off any evening chill
  • Travel games or cards to play around the lantern light
  • A first aid kit to care for any unexpected bumps and bruises
  • Bug spray and sunscreen to thwart mosquitoes and protect skin
  • Camp kitchen equipment like a stove, pots, dishes, a utility knife, utensils, and biodegradable soap
  • Sleeping essentials like a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping mats, plus earplugs for sensitive sleepers
  • A flashlight and s’mores ingredients to make every evening bright

Mountain Jaunt Packing List

spring break vacation in the mountains

If you’re getting in one last winter hurrah with a trip to the mountains, you’ll need to pack your bags for bundling up! Be sure to bring:

  • A warm coat to fend off cold weather
  • Slippers for keeping toes toasty in the cabin
  • A turtleneck and woolly socks for staying warm
  • Snow gear like snow pants, a scarf, gloves or mittens, and a knit hat
  • Lotion and lip balm to prevent dry skin and lips
  • Hot cocoa for warming up after a day of playing in the snow

Have any family vacation packing tips? Share them below!












Meet 3 Schoola Fundraising Stars

Just what kind of impact does Schoola make? We talked to three schools close to our hometown—and heart—to find out!

Fundraising for Music Education at Gregory Gardens Elementary School

Schoola School Fundraising

After reading about Schoola online, Gregory Gardens Elementary School mom Deborah, decided to give Schoola a test drive. She sent in a bag of her son Dylan’s outgrown clothes and was delighted when her donation quickly raised $250 for his school. Buoyed by this success, Deborah began organizing school-wide clothing drives, and now, five drives later,  Pleasant Hill, CA-based Gregory Gardens has raised over $15,000 to keep their arts and music programs alive and thriving!

Using the money they’ve raised with Schoola, Gregory Gardens, which serves 375 bright, young minds aged 5-11, purchased a spotlight and microphones for their theater program, and many instruments, from violins, to clarinets, to glockenspiels.

“Schoola is unique in that it enables us to raise funds without asking parents for money,” says Deborah, adding, “as a bonus, [it] encourages families to clean their closets! Parents love it.”

Gregory Gardens looks forward to using additional funds raised with Schoola for musical instrument repair and purchases, fun field trips, investing in sheet music, and giving all children a chance to both learn an instrument and participate in their beloved school play.

To help Gregory Garden’s young creatives thrive, shop here.

Making Art & Outdoor Education Possible at Lawton Alternative School

Schoola School Fundraising

Housed in a classic art-deco building covered by San Francisco’s majestic blanket of fog, Lawton Alternative School is a K-8 public school that aims to educate “the whole student.” Focused on art, music, theater, PE, and outdoor education in addition to the traditional array of classes, Lawton Alternative does a wonderful job of expanding the minds of its 600 students.

This extended educational programming doesn’t come for free, however, and state funds don’t cover all of Lawton’s expenses. So, when Schoola contacted PTA Vice President Gretchen three years ago, she readily agreed to give Schoola a go—and the results have been fantastic!

Today, Lawton Alternative has raised more than $5,800 with Schoola. They have used funds to pay their Education Outside program, which helps children connect to nature and science through hands-on learning in school gardens, and look forward to using future earnings to support teacher development, improve classrooms and buy plenty of books and equipment that will make lessons more fulfilling.

Help Lawton reach their goals by shopping to support them!

Providing Enrichment Activities at Jefferson Elementary School

Schoola School Fundraising

Standing proud on the streets of San Leandro, CA, Jefferson Elementary is a Title 1 school full of 630 cheerful students and a staff of amazing teachers dedicated to education and the arts.

The school began fundraising with Schoola when Jasmine, one of the school’s moms, began working in the Schoola warehouse. Smitten with Schoola the minute she learned about it, Jasmine brought Schoola to Jefferson and now, 289 bags of clothing later, the school has become one of our stars.

With $4,600 raised (and counting!), Jefferson put its fundraising proceeds to good use, supporting everything from assemblies and movie nights, to music classes and more. Plus, parents feel fantastic about the Schoola fundraising model since Schoola helps them support their children’s education without having to spend extra money, which make a big difference to many Jefferson families.

Jefferson has great plans for its future funds, like putting on a healthy-habit-promoting Obstacle-a-thon and organizing a Bingo for Books event. Help them make all these activities a success by shopping their Schoola page!


Have a Schoola success story? Share it below!










5 Reasons Why Kids Need Music Education

School music programs nationwide are disappearing, suffering at the hands of state-by-state budget cuts. Though it can be tempting to dismiss this as no big deal, the impact of eliminating music programs at schools is worse than you may imagine. March being Music in Our Schools Month (#MIOSM), we’re sharing a list of five reasons why music education is incredibly important—and why, in turn, we here at Schoola donate 40% of proceeds to schools to keep programs like music, art, and PE alive!

1. Music education helps kids do better in school.schoola

Numerous studies show music education improves academic performance. A 2007 study published in Nature Neuroscience reports that “students in high-quality school music education programs score higher on standardized tests…regardless of the socioeconomic level of community.”
To get a perfected picture of what this means, let’s look at some other studies.  One study found that students who had a quality music education score an average of 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math on their SATS. Another discovered that, with good music programs, elementary school students did 22% better in English and 20% better in math across all geographic regions. Even basic music programs sparked improved academic achievement in comparison with schools that provided no music education at all.

Continue reading

Win Weekly With #SchoolaStyle!


Get excited…the #SchoolaStyle Contest is back! We’re giving away a $50 coupon code each week to someone who shares their Schoola scores.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Snap a pic of your Schoola finds (bonus points for modeling them!).
  2. Share your pic on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To qualify, make sure you:
    1. Tag us in your post.
    2. Use the hashtag #SchoolaStyle.

Each Monday, we’ll announce the week’s lucky winner on Schoola’s Facebook page and notify the winner by commenting on their winning post.

We can’t wait to see your #SchoolaStyle. For inspiration, check out some of our past submissions above!

For complete list of official  rules and guidelines, please head here.






Take Your Favorite Sweater From Day to Night


With sweater weather on the horizon, we are so excited about one of our favorite items for fall. (Well, favorite besides a pumpkin spice latte). Of course, we’re referring to the Athleta Merino wool sweater, which is the perfect layering piece to take you from day to night. This sweater is classic and cozy and comes in a beautiful Chianti color, which is one of the hottest colors for fall fashion.

Whether you’re out and about running errands (did we mention it has thumb holes?), headed to the office, or out to dinner, this sweater is perfect for all of these occasions. It looks classy styled with black pants and your favorite pumps, or on the go with some skinny jeans and your favorite bag. For those extra cool evenings, pair it with a chic jacket.

Shop this look! Pick up your Athleta Sweater and pair with either black pants or denim. Is the weather feeling chilly? Layer on a jacket for extra warmth.

Complete your look with some chic boots or sandals and a handbag.








Big shout out to Ashley of DTK Austin who styled our favorite Athleta sweater for both a day out and a romantic date night.

Regardless of where your day or night takes you, there is no doubt – this sweater is ready to keep you feeling cozy and looking chic.



Leslie Beckhorn is the Visual Merchandising Manager at Schoola. One of Leslie’s favorite subjects in school was art. It helped inspire her creativity and love of fashion. When she was in kindergarten, she took Vogue magazine to show and tell. Her love grew so much that she was inspired to get her degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in Art History. Now she is happy to bring her passion to Schoola.


The Autumn Edit


The weather is beginning to turn, and autumn is right around the corner. It’s time to start packing up those summer dresses into storage and thinking about the season ahead. Along with the joys of colorful autumn leaves and pumpkin pie also comes the fun in building up your fall wardrobe. To help you plan and streamline your fall shopping, we’ve put together this year’s top six essential fall staples.


Sweater Weather The quintessential cold-weather staple is the warm and cozy sweater. From cardigans to chunky wools, this is the one piece that will fit every fall occasion.

Top-to-Bottom Denim – Denim works for every season, but the color stories for fall are quite distinct. In fall we see darker shades of indigo, a gray palette and even pops of subtle colors such as burgundy and forest green. Pair your denim jackets with everything from sweaters to dresses and even jeans.

Pantone’s Marsala – If you are not familiar, Pantone is the ultimate authority on color theory and trends. Every year Pantone announces the Color of the Year, and last year Marsala won the title. Appropriately named after a deep-toned wine, Marsala brings a rich and luxurious feel to your wardrobe.  

Touch of Texture – Add some sparkle and depth to your style with layered pieces that provide interest. Mix and match textures like lace, velvet, or leather to take your basics from day to night.

Tailored Garments – Summer is all about the loose and flowing fabrics, but with fall, it’s time to suit up. Fall silhouettes are tailored and structured, giving a more sophisticated and formal feel. Shop the collection for trousers, blazers, and fitted dresses.

Mad for Plaid Stay comfortable and warm in the classic flannel plaid shirt. Plaid is a great investment because it returns as a favorite trend every fall. Pair with basic denim or layer under sweaters for an easy-to-wear outfit.


The Collection

Schoola is a great place to find thrift gems with thousands of items to shop. We’ve taken the work out of it for you and gathered the best of the fall trends in the Curator’s Collection. Shop now and get started on building your autumn wardrobe!



Celebrating Three Years of Schoola


Three years ago, the Schoola shop opened its doors online. At the time, we were working with a pilot group of just five schools and settling into our very first warehouse. We knew firsthand that with each wave of school budget cuts, kids were losing out, and we wanted to enable parents and community members to support crucial programs as easily as possible (no cookie dough or wrapping paper sales required!).


Since then, hundreds of thousands of families across the U.S. have joined with Schoola to support our children — by donating, by organizing clothing drives, by shopping, by sharing our name with friends, and more.

Here are some of the amazing things you’ve accomplished so far:

  • You’ve saved enough water to fill 440 Olympic-size swimming pools by donating your gently used clothing. Did you know that for every preloved item that finds a new home through our shop, more than 1,000 gallons of water are saved that would have otherwise been used manufacturing a new item?
  • And you’ve sent in tons of clothing – literally. The number of pounds of clothing donations we’ve received from you is equal to the weight of 50 school buses.
  • From the 5 schools we started out with three years ago, we’ve grown to 30,000 schools that are now partnering with Schoola.
  • If we lined up all the bags you’ve requested so far to benefit Malala Fund, we could reach the top of Mount Everest three times.
  • All told, you’ve impacted 6 million students whose schools have benefited from Schoola, helping maintain crucial funding for art, music, P.E., and more.

Thank you for making these first three years awesome. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Sizing Things Up: Find Your Perfect Pair of Pants

Pants Sizing: Find Your Perfect Fit

By Leslie Beckhorn, Visual Merchandising Manager

We all know the most difficult part of online shopping is not knowing whether an item will fit us or not. It always seems so much easier if we can just jump into a fitting room and try it on. Well, I am here to tell you that you have no reason to worry about that anymore. We have compiled a list of women’s size charts from some of our top-selling brands to make your purchasing decisions easier.

If your item arrives and you find it doesn’t fit quite as you like, simply let our customer service team know by emailing or calling 855-454-2956. We promise to provide store credit equal to the amount you paid for the item to help you find a replacement that does.

Some things to keep in mind when it comes to sizing, especially bottoms:

  • Petite is considered a proportion rather than a size. This means petite sizing affects not only the inseam, but also the rise.
  • In tall items, the most distinct difference is in the inseam.
  • Some pants, like skinny jeans, are designed to have a more tailored fit, and their cut reflects that, while others, like trousers, are cut to fit a bit looser.

When sizing bottoms, we look at measurements in three areas: waist, hips, and length (or inseam). Here is an example of what those look like, and how to measure yourself if you’re not quite sure where you fall on a sizing chart.

Pants Sizing: Find Your Perfect Fit

Ann Taylor Pants:

Known for classic styles and specializing in petite and tall fits, the sizing tends a little toward the generous side, so you may find that you size down from your normal size. Sizing at sister brand Loft is very similar.

Regular (32-33” inseam)

00 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Waist 23.5 24.5 25.5 26.5 27.5 28.5 29.5 31 32.5 34 36
Hip 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 41 42.5 44 46

Petite (30” inseam; recommended for individuals 5’4” and under)

00P 0P 2P 4P 6P 8P 10P 12P 14P 16P
Waist 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30.5 32 33.5
Hip 32.5 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 40 41.5 43

Banana Republic Pants:

Sizes run similar to Ann Taylor.


Size 000/23 00/24 0/25 2/26 4/27 6/28 8/29 10/30 12/31 14/32 16/33
Hip 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41.5 43 44.5
Inseam 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33


Size 000P 00P 0P 2P 4P 6P 8P 10P 12P 14P
Natural Waist 22.5 23.5 24.5 25.5 26.5 27.5 28.5 29.5 31 32.5
Hip 32.5 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 41 41.5

Gap Jeans:

00 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Size 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 35
Waist 24.75 25.5 26.25 27.25 28.25 29.5 30.5 32 33.25 35.25 39.5
Hip 34.25 35.25 36.25 37.25 38.25 39.25 40.25 41.75 43.25 45. 48.75

Gap Pants:


Size 000/23 00/24 0/25 2/26 4/27 6/28 8/29 10/30 12/31 14/32 16/33
Hip 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41.5 43 44.5
Inseam 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33


Size 000P 00P 0P 2P 4P 6P 8P 10P 12P 14P
Natural Waist 22.5 23.5 24.5 25.5 26.5 27.5 28.5 29.5 31 32.5
Hip 32.5 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 41 41.5

J.Crew Pants:


000 00 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Waist 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31.5 33 34.5
Hip 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41.5 43 44.5

Calvin Klein Bottoms: 


Size XS S M L XL
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Waist 25 26 27 28 29 30 31.5 32.5 34
Hip 33.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 40.5 42 43.5 45


30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30


32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32 32


34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34 34


Size XS S M L XL
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14
Waist 29.5 30.5 31.5 32.5 33.5 34.5 36 37.5
Low hip 36.75 37.75 38.75 39.75 40.75 41.75 43.25 44.75
inseam 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Le Suit:


Size XS S M L XL
0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18
Bust 32 33 34 35 36 37 38.5 40 41 43
Waist 24 25 26 27 28 29 30.5 32 33.5 35
Hips 34.5 35.5 36.5 37.5 38.5 39.5 41 42.5 44 45.5


Size XS S M L
2P 4P 6P 8P 10P 12P 14P
Bust 32 33 34 35 36 37.5 39
Waist 23.5 24.6 25.5 26.5 27.5 29 30.5
Hips 34 35 36 37 38 39.5 41


Size 0X 1X 2X 3X 4X 5X
12W 14W 16W 18W 20W 22W 24W 26W 28W 30W 32W
Bust 40 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60
Waist 33 35 37 39 41 43 45 47 49 51 53
Hips 42 44 46 48 50 52 54 56 58 60 62

Ellen Tracy Pants:


Size XS S M L XL
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
Bust 37 38 39 40 41 42.5 44 45.5
Natural Waist 34 35 36 37 38 39.5 41 42.5
Hips 37.5 38.5 39.5 40.5 41.5 43 44.5 46

I hope you found this helpful, and remember, if it doesn’t fit, we’ll help you find an item that does. Just let our customer service team know by emailing or calling 855-454-2956, and we’ll provide a store credit equal to the amount you paid for the item. Learn more about sizing here.


Leslie Beckhorn is the Visual Merchandising Manager at Schoola. One of Leslie’s favorite subjects in school was art. It helped inspire her creativity and love of fashion. When she was in kindergarten, she took Vogue magazine to show and tell. Her love grew so much that she was inspired to get her degree in Fine Art with an emphasis in Art History. Now she is happy to bring her passion to Schoola.


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