Back to School -- or home-schooling -- here's what the judges decided were the best stores in South Florida to buy educational supplies.
Get Smart Educational Superstore 8700 SW 137th Court, Miami, 305-387-0834 11751 S. Dixie Highway, Pinecrest, 305-387-0834 www.getsmartsuperstores.com
It smells like school: glue, crayons, paint and paper. Get Smart Educational Superstore offers teachers and parents just what they need to jump-start learning, from educational toys for infants to lesson plans for language arts. It's a great place to find hard-working tools like sturdy wooden puzzles, craft supplies, bulletin-board borders, stickers and books. If you've never thought of a place like this for gift-giving, give it a chance. There's a Brio train table to entertain the little ones while you wander about to find the perfect something.
Stop Look & Learn 6806 Forest Hill Blvd., Greenacres 561-641-7867
With an ultra-friendly and knowledgeable staff, Stop Look & Learn is a real pleasure in shopping for educational supplies. The decor is cheery and creative with large, handmade displays above aisles full of learning materials. The store is well-organized and easy to navigate, so it's a snap finding just what you need to make that 11th-hour science project. The store has a fantastic array of activity books, games and puzzles in addition to the sentence strips and gallons of the tempera paint teachers need.
Get Smart 4366 Northlake Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens 561-691-0091
BROWARD COUNTY GOLD
ACE Educational Supplies 5595 S. University Drive, Davie, 954-680-8172 5760 W. Sample Road, Margate, 954-978-6991 Toll free: 800-432-0213 www.ace-educational.com
"I love, love ACE Educational," says home-schooling mom Karen Bamford. "They have just about anything you need or want." Since 1974, ACE (Arts, Crafts, Education) Educational Supplies has been outfitting teachers and parents with the provisions needed to feed young minds. "We are your one-stop shop for every school need -- from FCATs to science fairs," says owner Rick Ludwig. The amazing 35,000-square-foot flagship store in Davie, which is home to the corporate offices and warehouse space, boasts the largest educational supply showroom in the country. ACE Educational Supplies also offers an array of fine art products for beginners on up because, as Ludwig says, "art is education." The efficient and well-informed staff makes for a delightful shopping experience and brings educational supply shoppers back again and again.