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Parents: Need to Know What's Cool for School? Here's What's Hot for Kids 8-14

(ARA) – No longer tots but not quite teens, 27 million U.S. “tweens” (kids aged 8 to 14) will head back to school after winter break, and – no surprise – they’ll be looking to hit the books in style.

Like teens, tweens are a group known for their love of pop culture and all things cool – topics that can prove befuddling in the grown-up world. So, to help parents with shopping, the school support company Shopforschool (www.shopforschool.com) informally quizzed a few tweens across the country to gather their opinions on what they want for class.

The group of 23 kids, dubbed the “Shopforschool Tween Team,” hails from eight states and represents girls and boys in grades three through nine. Many of the items they specified, including clothes, accessories and school supplies, can be purchased online from merchants featured on the Shopforschool.com Web site. When people shop online through www.shopforschool.com, a percentage of every purchase they make is donated to the K-12 school of their choice. All parents need to do is visit www.shopforschool.com, register their child’s school and start shopping!

The Shopforschool Tween Team: GIRLS

When it comes to shirtsleeves, 100 percent is just too much! The girls are going for -length sleeves this fall. A variety of -sleeved oxford shirts and sweaters can be found at gap.com. For younger girls, GUESSkids.com has an assortment of fun styles.

Show your fashion “flare!” Overwhelmingly, the girls voted for flared pant-legs. JCPenney.com offers funky flares in both stonewashed and dark denim, and gap.com features flared corduroy pants in a variety of colors.

It’s time for fancy footwork! When asked about footwear, both clogs and fashion boots were shoe-ins for girls – and both can be found in a number of groovy styles at Delias.com. Funky sneakers, another popular choice, abound on Delias.com, as well. In addition, many of the girls want running shoes, which can be found in abundance at dsports.com and JCPenney.com.

So long, matte make-up – these girls want glitter! Glitter make-up ranked right up there, along with earrings and beaded jewelry. For some shimmer while they study, girls might try glittery lip gloss and eye pencils from Delias.com, or Tony & Tina Cosmic Lights pure sparkling glitter – available in many hues – at iBeauty.com. And many things beaded – from earrings to necklaces and bracelets – can be found at JCPenney.com and GUESSkids.com.

- Tween girls have fashion in the bag – and are opting for backpacks, messenger bags and purses to tote their books and goodies. From canvas bags and purses to clear plastic backpacks and backpacks on wheels, eBags.com has something to suit every taste – and hundreds of styles to choose from. Fossil.com also offers an assortment of messenger bags and purses.

The Shopforschool Tween Team: BOYS

Don’t even think about going school without a sports jersey! Almost all of the boys voted sports jerseys as a hands-down, no contest, must-have item. Dsports.com has an array of jerseys sporting logos from dozens of pro teams. Boys can complement their sports jerseys with a pair of ever-popular Nike athletic pants from JCPenney.com.

Fleece vests, short-sleeved plaid shirts and convertible pants (pants with zip-off legs) all made the A-list for boys and are available at gap.com.

Some things never go out of style! When it comes to shoes, these boys voted sneakers, running shoes, high-top tennis shoes and outdoorsy/athletic boots all the way. Both dsports.com and JCPenney.com have lots of footwear options to choose from.

Who says guys don’t dig accessories? Our tweens favor baseball caps (classic twill styles can be found at gap.com) and sport watches – check out Fossil.com! Sunglasses are important, too – and Fossil.com and Shades.com have styles that are such to catch some eyes!

For hauling books, boys prefer backpacks without question. eBags.com has dozens of backpacks to pick from in just about every style, size and fabric imaginable.

The Shopforschool Tween Team: GIRLS and BOYS

A tween quiz wouldn’t be complete without questions about a couple of things that interest most tweens – school supplies and music. Here’s what we learned from the Shopforschool Tween Team:

Plain folders and notebooks, daily calendars/organizers and calculators topped the list for most-wanted school supplies. You can find those supplies, and much more, at OfficeMax.com. And, if you visit OfficeMax.com through www.shopforschool.com, you’ll receive $10 off an order of $100 or more or $5 off an order of $50 or more. Fossil.com also is offering a free calculator, while supplies last, with a purchase through www.shopforschool.com.

Oops, she did it again – Britney Spears topped the list of favorite musical artists among the tweens surveyed. So, when the homework is done and it’s time to kick back and listen to some music, tweens can enjoy tunes from Britney and other artists, available on CD at SamGoody.com. Many of the tweens surveyed also indicated that they’re in the market for a portable CD player – also available at SamGoody.com.


Courtesy of ARA Content, www.aracontent.com, e-mail: info@aracontent.com

EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information contact Lori Fligge, Shopforschool at (952) 852-1408 or lori.fligge@shopforschool.com.