Nashville, TN – December 5, 2022 – The Dollar General Literacy Foundation will continue its investment in local teachers and students, as the Presenting Sponsor of the PENCIL Box, PENCIL’s free school supply store for Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) teachers. With a renewed investment of $175,000, the program will continue under the Dollar General name – DG PENCIL Box (DGPB) – to ensure that Metro teachers have access to the free core classroom supplies needed to impact student success.
The DG PENCIL Box acts as a supplemental resource center for MNPS, available to all Metro teachers. Teachers shop quarterly at a PENCIL location for high-demand, core supplies such as dry erase markers, notebooks, filler paper, book bags, hand sanitizer, and more at no cost to them.
“Every day teachers invest in our communities’ most valuable resource; helping to create brighter futures and beautiful opportunities. They not only invest their time and talent, but often financially as well as they purchase supplies for their classroom and students,” said Denine Torr, executive director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “The DG PENCIL Box is one of our ways of thanking teachers for their efforts while providing supplies they need to help create a positive classroom experience.”
During our first year under the “DG” name, PENCIL expanded the impact and services of its PENCIL Box program – distributing nearly $3M worth of supplies and opening its first-ever ancillary store in Antioch. The Antioch satellite store opened its doors again for the 2022/23 school year at a new location onsite at Haywood Elementary School (3790 Turley Drive, Nashville, TN 37211).
Already this school year, through back-to-school efforts, teacher shopping, and mass giveaways, the DG PENCIL Box has supported 3,065 teachers, and distributed more than $915,000 worth of supplies.
“Dollar General is an exceptional partner to make such a significant commitment to our MNPS students and teachers once again. The DG team understands not only why this resource is so important, but also how it makes our educators feel seen, appreciated, and celebrated. In that, the DG team, PENCIL, and our Director of Schools Dr. Battle are all in agreement,” shared Angie Adams, PENCIL President & CEO.
With Dollar General’s support, PENCIL will continue to work to grow the PENCIL Box program to ensure all MNPS teachers have access to free school supplies. Last month, PENCIL hit another milestone – distributing $15M dollars’ worth of free product to Metro teachers since the store opened in 2006. This school year, PENCIL hopes to expand the reach of the DG PENCIL Box by establishing a second satellite store on the Northeast side of the city and finding alternatives to in-store shopping, enabling a multi-tiered approach that includes pop-up stores, quarterly product giveaways, and targeted deliveries of key supplies to high-need schools.
Natalie Millican, an 8th Grade Math Teacher at LEAD Cameron Middle School, affirms the impact of the DG PENCIL Box from the teacher perspective. “The volunteers and donors don’t understand how big of an impact that they’re making. Every child is going to be able to focus better in class because they have their own supplies – a notebook, an eraser cap, a pencil; and it takes the financial burden off me, so I can focus on the other needs of my students and teaching.”
Ultimately, PENCIL’s goal is to make this valuable, unique resource available and readily accessible to every Metro educator year-round. When teachers have the tools they need to teach, students feel cared for, supported, and are better able to learn. Especially in a district where many schools are Title 1, the DG PENCIL Box is the community’s way to show support for teachers who are nurturing 82,000+ young people every day.
The DG PENCIL Box is open to Metro teachers for shopping appointments at both the West Nashville and Antioch sites here: pencilforschools.org/teacher-shopping-appointments
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 the Dollar General Literacy Foundation
The Dollar General Literacy Foundation is proud to support initiatives that help others improve their lives through literacy and education. Since 1993, the Foundation has awarded more than $219 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 16.1 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. Each year, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation provides financial support to schools, nonprofit organizations and libraries within a 15-mile radius of Dollar General stores and distribution centers. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation or apply for a literacy grant, visit www.dgliteracy.org
About Dollar General Corporation
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for more than 80 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day.® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares and seasonal items at everyday low prices in convenient neighborhood locations. Dollar General operated 18,566 stores in 47 states as of July 29, 2022. In addition to high-quality private brands, Dollar General sells products from America’s most-trusted manufacturers such as Clorox, Energizer, Procter & Gamble, Hanes, Coca-Cola, Mars, Unilever, Nestle, Kimberly-Clark, Kellogg’s, General Mills, and PepsiCo. Learn more about Dollar General at www.dollargeneral.com.