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(ARA) – When it’s time to prepare for the start of a new school year, shopping for school supplies is at the top of any family’s to-do list. Students want supplies that are fun and reflect their personality. Parents look for items that are reliable and budget-friendly. The good news is this year’s top trends in school supplies offer all those qualities, making shopping enjoyable for the entire family.

Parents and students have many choices on where to shop for supplies. They should consider destinations that offer a wide assortment and good value.

Here are some of the top school supplies for the new school year:

A locker with personality

A locker is one of the few spaces kids have to express their individuality through fun and fresh decorations. Add instant glitz and much-needed light with new locker chandeliers that illuminate with seven LED lights. Decorating locker walls is simple and easy with magnetic locker wallpaper in fashionable patterns and students can even go retro with shag rugs available in four bright colors designed to fit standard lockers.

Recycle and save

Students require binders each school year and some are not usable after a year of wear and tear. This year, Staples is offering an exciting new program that helps families save money and be friendly to the environment. For every binder students bring in to recycle, they will receive an instant $2 back on a new binder purchased in store.

Flash drives with flash

Flash drives are an academic essential these days, allowing students to carry their work to and from school with a simple, compact tool. Flash drives are not only useful, but the designs can be a lot of fun too. This year, flash drives come in the shapes of students’ favorite characters such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Angry Birds or even sports cars designs featuring Lamborghini, Mini Cooper and Aston Martin.

Fun and functional core tools

Designs that blend fun and function rule the scene for back-to-school 2012. For examples, students can make school work sweeter with novelty-shaped apple and cupcake tape dispensers and mini memo books in colorful fruit shapes. Kids can even show off their wild side with stylish zebra and cheetah prints found on basic tools like staplers, clipboards and magnetic clips.

Score the discounts

Look for coupons and discount programs to help keep your family on budget.

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