Nashville, Tennessee (December 2, 2020) – PENCIL—an acronym for Public Education Needs Community Involvement and Leadership—Nashville’s premier organization linking community resources to Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), is honored to be named an awardee of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders program. As a result, PENCIL will receive a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for Angie Adams, President & CEO, and an emerging leader, Project Manager Jacki Artis, access to a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand the impact of PENCIL’s work.
“As Board Chair of PENCIL, I am beyond thrilled that this essential organization has been chosen as a 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builder. For me, there is no greater priority than supporting our public-school students and teachers by providing equitable access to all the resources our community can provide – from supplies to tutoring to mentorship. With Bank of America’s investment, PENCIL can not only meet this moment but deepen our community relationships to benefit students for many years to come,” shared Brandyn Payne, Chief Human Resources Officer, HCTec.
Bank of America’s significant investment will allow PENCIL to provide critical support to meet immediate needs of Metro Nashville Public School students. Students need access to community partners virtually due to the pandemic. The Neighborhood Builders grant will help PENCIL expand their staff capacity to recruit, train, and manage community partners who can support students through virtual platforms. These platforms are being piloted by current PENCIL Partners and key individuals within schools to ensure their success.
Longtime PENCIL Partner Rogers Group, Inc. has generously donated warehouse space to PENCIL for years, and Bank of America’s investment will enable PENCIL to expand use of their facility on Cockrill Bend Boulevard which houses staff workspace and the LP PENCIL Box—a free, year-round resource for teachers to shop for school supplies. Their investment allows us to improve the space so that we can continue to host volunteers to pack and distribute thousands of supply kits and also receive more donated product.
“At Rogers Group, we focus on building communities from the ground up. We know that investing in public education is a powerful way for us to make a positive, long-term impact. We were thrilled to learn that PENCIL will receive Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builders investment, which will greatly increase the functionality of the warehouse space that Rogers Group recently donated. This improvement allows PENCIL to serve more MNPS teachers and students through supplies and community volunteers.” Darin Matson, President and CEO, Rogers Group, Inc.
Metro Nashville Public Schools is a large and diverse district where at least half of its students and families live within low-to-moderate income households. PENCIL’s work with MNPS directly impacts these individuals and could not be made possible without significant community support. In partnership work that seeks to bring equitable opportunity to each public-school student in the district by matching businesses and organizations with school needs, reimagining what support looks like is key during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“PENCIL is a game-changing organization in Nashville. As a member of PENCIL’s Board of Directors, I have watched this team rise to the many challenges the pandemic has thrown at them and deliver on their mission to harness community resources for students and teachers in new and creative ways. The Neighborhood Builder award is an affirmation of both Bank of America’s commitment to empowering young people through education, as well as PENCIL’s community-building approach to student success,” shared Stephanie Bonner, Bank of America and PENCIL Board Member.
The Neighborhood Builders Program network aims to advance equity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector. PENCIL’s access to this network through leadership development will elevate the PENCIL model of community and business engagement in public schools to a national level.
“PENCIL becoming a part of the Bank of America Neighborhood Builders network is an incredible testament to the importance of the partnership work that PENCIL brings to the students and teachers of Metro Nashville Public Schools. This investment will support capacity building that will allow us to accommodate the growing need of the MNPS population due to the pandemic and will open many doors for raising awareness about PENCIL on a national stage. We’re so grateful for the recognition,” said Angie Adams, President & CEO of PENCIL.
Founded in 1982, PENCIL (www.pencilforschools.org) links community resources to Metro Nashville Public Schools to help young people achieve academic success and prepare for life. PENCIL’s work is guided by the needs of MNPS, is student-centric, and is achieved through partnerships and tangible engagements. PENCIL envisions a world where access and opportunities are equitable for all students to have a successful future.
About Bank of America Neighborhood Builders
Since 2004, Neighborhood Builders has invested more than $240 million in 49 communities—partnership with more than 1,000 nonprofits and more that 2,000 nonprofit leaders by deploying capital and building cross-sector partnerships to advance nonprofit leaders addressing economic mobility and social progress issues in the communities that Bank of America serves.