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About Yoobi

What is Yoobi?

Yoobi, pronounced “you-be,” is a new colorful and vibrant school supply brand that makes learning fun while also giving back. We create and sell supplies for the school, home or office, and for every item you buy directly from us or one of our retail partners, we donate a Yoobi item to a classroom in need right here in the U.S (See “How does Yoobi’s give program work?” for complete details). Our goal is to perk up the school supply aisle, and help solve a big problem along the way.

Watch Our Story

What problem is Yoobi hoping to solve?

Our goal is to one day provide free school supplies to all classrooms that lack access to basic learning tools. Yoobi was founded on the belief that: (1) access to fundamental school supplies should be within reach of all kids, no matter what ZIP code they come from, (2) teachers should not have to spend money out of their own pockets in order to provide those supplies, and (3) each and every one of us can make a difference.

What does the slogan “one for you. one for me.” mean?

It means that for every Yoobi item you purchase, one Yoobi item (based on classroom need) is contributed to a Yoobi Classroom Pack, which is donated through one of our donation partners to a classroom in need right here in the U.S. Donated items may include pencils, glue sticks, erasers, rulers, folders, crayons, colored pencils or other items. “One for you, one for me” is what kids say on the playground and at snack time. It’s how they learn to share, and play fair. Now they can make those choices as consumers, picking out some practical Yoobi goodies with you by their side. See “How does Yoobi’s give program work?” for complete details.

How did the idea come about?

Our founder, Ido Leffler, came up with the idea after a trip down the school supply aisle with his two daughters. He noticed that the wall of products felt like it hadn’t been updated since he was in junior high. He found himself wondering, what if the school supply aisle grabbed kids interest like the toy aisle? Plus, Ido has visited dozens of public schools and found the classrooms to be either institutionally austere, or colorful wonderlands covered in kids’ art. In the wonderlands, he’d learned that many of the teachers had paid for supplies out of their own pockets: a real problem we need to solve. Ido thought, why not develop a line of cool school supplies that engage kids, while helping others?

Read our Q&A with Ido

Why did you choose the name Yoobi?

Ido was thinking of a way to get people excited about what we were about to embark on, and kept going back to the notion of inspiring people to be whoever they want to be…he thought, You be the difference. You be great. You be awesome! You be YOU. Yoobi! What better name for a cute, nation-changing toucan? Yoobi’s goal is to inspire kids to be whomever and whatever they want to be, and give them the tools they need to do it.

Why the toucan?

Isn’t he cute and friendly? We introduced a number of characters to our market research board—i.e., a bunch of awesome kids we know. They loved the toucan the most, and how could they not? Thus, Yoobi was born.

Is Yoobi a non-profit company?

Yoobi is a for-profit company with giving integrated into its core mission.

Does Yoobi work with non-profit organizations?

Yes, we love working with our non-profit partners! We have partnered with the Kids In Need Foundation to ensure that our school supplies reach the classrooms demonstrating the greatest need. Kids In Need Foundation is in its twentieth year of providing free school supplies to 3.6 million children and 120,000 teachers annually through a network of 32 Resource Centers across the U.S. We have also partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to provide school supplies to children’s hospital classrooms nationwide. Starlight’s Wish List platform serves over 180 hospitals and collectively serves over 21 million children.

About Yoobi Products

What types of products does Yoobi sell?

Yoobi offers an awesome range of over 80 bright, colorful and fun supplies for the school, home or office.

See It All Here

Where can I buy Yoobi?

Yoobi products are currently available online and exclusively at Target stores nationwide.

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Do your products come in more colors?

We love color. (Could you tell?) Currently we offer four colors—pink, purple, blue and green.

About Yoobi’s Give Program

How does Yoobi’s give program work?

You Buy, Yoobi Gives. Or as we like to call it, “one for you. one for me.” For every Yoobi item purchased at a Target Store, Yoobi will donate a Yoobi item of equal or lesser value (based on classroom needs) to Kids In Need Foundation for distribution to a classroom in need in the U.S.
For every Yoobi item purchased at Yoobi.com, Yoobi will donate a Yoobi item to the Starlight Foundation for distribution to a child in need at a hospital in the United States.
Donated items for the programs may include pencils, glue sticks, erasers, rulers, folders, crayons, colored pencils, or other items to create a Yoobi Classroom Pack. Actual items donated are based on classroom need and may be of equal or lesser value than the Yoobi item you purchased. Your Yoobi purchase at a Target store or on Yoobi.com and our donation of a Yoobi item based on your purchase is not tax deductible.

Which grades does Yoobi support?

To start, we’re focusing our efforts on grades K–3. We believe that creating equal access to school supplies at an early stage has the greatest multiplying effect on the chances of a child succeeding down the road. (There’s lots of good research supporting this idea.)

How many classrooms will Yoobi support in the 2014–2015 school year?

Our goal is to donate Yoobi Classroom Packs to 30,000+ classrooms. That means that approximately 750,000 kids may receive free Yoobi school supplies this year! And that’s just the beginning.

How do you choose which classrooms receive Yoobi supplies?

Together with Kids In Need Foundation, we’ve identified schools across the U.S. where 70% or more of the students are eligible to receive free or reduced lunch as part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). It’s a tried and true way to assess where the greatest need lies. By focusing here, we believe that classrooms with the least access to fundamental supplies will be the first to receive what they need most. In addition to these schools, we have partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to donate school supplies to children’s hospital classrooms on Starlight’s Wish List platform.

What is in a Yoobi Classroom Pack?

We worked with Kids In Need Foundation to assess the most fundamental tools for learning and creativity, as well as those items which teachers are most likely to provide with their own money. Then we made special Yoobi products—in blue and dark green—and boxed them up to create a Yoobi Classroom Pack, which has enough school supplies for 30 amazing kids (the average K–3rd grade classroom has 20-25 kids, and we want to ensure they each have their own set). Each Yoobi Classroom Pack includes the following goodies:

  • 90 3-pack of #2 pencils
  • 60 glue sticks
  • 30 erasers
  • 30 pencil sharpeners
  • 30 rulers
  • 30 folders
  • 30 glue bottles
  • 30 pencil cases
  • 30 5-pack of crayons
  • 30 5-pack of colored pencils
  • 30 5-pack of markers
  • 5 scissors (for the class to share)
  • Plus 30 Yoobi Stickers!
Check out Yoobi’s Classroom Packs

Are the items donated different from the items you sell?

No matter what Yoobi product you buy, your purchase will support the addition of one of the 12 items into the Yoobi Classroom Pack. The actual item donated is based on classroom need and may be of equal or lesser value than the item purchased. That way we can give kids the best balance of supplies. (It wouldn’t make sense to give a kid three staplers and no crayons, just because that’s what you bought, would it?) Our Yoobi Classroom Pack items use a different Yoobi blue and green to prevent in-store returns. That way we make sure that tools for creativity stick around for that very purpose.

How are the Yoobi Classroom Packs distributed?

We deliver Yoobi Classroom Packs directly to Kids In Need Foundation and/or other donation partners for direct distribution to classrooms in need. In addition, members of the Yoobi team also hand deliver Yoobi Classroom Packs to select schools.

Watch the Yoobi team deliver Classroom Packs to a school in Los Angeles

You mentioned the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). What’s that?

NSLP is a federally assisted meal program that offers low-cost or free lunches to approximately 31 million kids each school day. A child’s economic circumstance determines eligibility for NSLP. There tends to be a very close relationship between the number of students eligible for NSLP funding at a particular school, and the economic circumstances of the school itself. In fact, this is how a range of federal, state, and non-profit groups determine what services a school needs.

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Is it possible to actually solve the problem of unequal access to school supplies?

We believe it is. The more we grow, the more kids’ learning and creativity we’ll be able to support. With your help, we’ll work together to achieve this goal.

Can I make a donation to Yoobi?

Thanks for the thought Not at this time. We offer a wide range of supplies for the school, home or office, so there’s something for everybody who is interested in supporting the cause. It also makes for a great gift—give with a purpose!

The Facts

How much do teachers spend on school supplies out of pocket each year?

Teachers spend an average of $485 per year on essential classroom materials. 99.5% of teachers reported spending their own money on school supplies, instructional materials and/or other classroom materials. When you add up all those teachers supporting their students out of pocket, it comes out to a stunning $1.6 billion a year.

Read This 2013 Study

Does access to fundamental school supplies really make a difference?

No doubt about it. Studies (such as the School Tools Outcomes Report 2009, Impact Report DC2C 2011, TRC Survey Report 2013) have shown that when kids have access to basic learning tools, their test scores improve immediately, as does their school attendance and classroom behavior.

How many classrooms lack fundamental learning tools in the U.S.?

By identifying schools with the highest NSLP enrollment, we can identify those classrooms that are most likely to lack basic learning tools. In the K-3rd grade level, that’s approximately a quarter of a million classrooms.

Learn More