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The Back-to-School Rush 'Like Christmas' at The Classmate

The popular Evergreen Park store draws teachers, students and parents and is in the throes of its busiest time of year.

Those who have recently visited the jam-packed  school supply store may have indeed made their lists and checked them twice.

But rather than keeping track of who is naughty or nice, they are looking for pencils, pens, notebooks, classroom decorations and more -- all of the staples that teachers, parents and students scramble to find this time of year.

It's time to go back to school.

"This is like Christmas time," said store owner Gail Sullivan with a laugh during a busy day at the store this week. "There's no better way to describe it."

The excitement and anticipation has definitely begun for shoppers who tend to start swarming the store in the afternoons and early evening -- especially for schools on the Track E schedule in Chicago, Sullivan said. Those students start school on Monday, Aug. 13.

The Classmate has been in business for 26 years.

"We always have the newest products available for our customers," Sullivan said.

Teachers weren't the only ones checking out The Classmate's wares.

Kyle Good, 8, and his big sister Shannon, 14, stopped by to take a look at a microscope Kyle wants.

"He's into science," Shannon explained.

Kyle was just price-checking and decided that he needs to save up a bit more.

He just may be able to get a deal on one of them if he keeps up with specials that can be found on the store's website and Facebook page.

It's not unusual for a range of people come by the store for their school supply needs, said Sarah Williquette, office supply manager. 

"Parents, teachers and students come here to shop for [going] back to school," she said.

The Classmate has been a longtime stop for Morgan Park Academy teacher Kathy Keelan. She has been a second-grade teacher for 17 years and wanted to spruce up a new classroom she moved into this year.

"My classroom has to be perked up," Keelan said as she pondered a decoration displaying the alphabet in cursive. "There are so many choices."

J Larry Kobelt August 09, 2012 at 01:52 PM
I think the word to use is "throes" not throws.
Dan Lambert (Editor) August 09, 2012 at 04:53 PM
You are of course correct. That one was my fault. It's been fixed.
J Larry Kobelt August 13, 2012 at 03:10 PM
Happy to "help". Glad you are on the beat, writing for Patch.
John Rodgers September 06, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Can't believe is all over now and its time for school. i just sent off my younger sister a couple days ago on her new bike that she got from http://2wheelbikes.com/ and she was pretty excited! time really goes by fast!!
Sean Taylor September 14, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Going back to school is very hectic...my sister just had her back to school night yesterday. it truly is amazing how quickly time flies. i mean in a couple of weeks we will be getting ready for halloween. my mom has already purchased some halloween decor from http://www.homeseasons.com/Halloween-Decorations-c10/ and we're all pretty excited for it.

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