PENCIL Receives $175,000 Grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to Support Metro Teachers and Students

Nashville, TN – January 20, 2022 – Dollar General Literacy Foundation will become the new Presenting Sponsor of the PENCIL Box, PENCIL’s free school supply store for Metro Nashville Public School (MNPS) teachers. With an investment of $175,000, the program will be renamed the DG PENCIL Box and will ensure that MNPS teachers have access to essential classroom supplies.

“PENCIL is thrilled to receive this grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation for the DG PENCIL Box. We know that many of the 81,000 students in MNPS come from economically-disadvantaged households, so the DG PENCIL Box is the community’s collective effort to ensure no student is hindered by a lack of supplies. Dollar General and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation continue to be an outstanding role model within the business community through their commitments to our public-school students and teachers,” said Angie Adams, President & CEO PENCIL.

“As a hands-on partner to PENCIL for the past 35 years, we’re especially pleased that the Dollar General Literacy Foundation is taking on this new sponsorship. It really feels full-circle.”

Through the DG PENCIL Box, any MNPS teacher can shop for free once a quarter at a PENCIL location for core supplies such as pencils, crayons, glue sticks, copy paper, and composition books, as well as classroom décor, cleaning supplies, tissues, and more. On average, teachers spend $410 out of pocket annually to supplement their classrooms beyond what school budgets or families can provide. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for supplies has deepened, especially as teachers have shifted between in-person and distance learning, and students required individual supply kits to use at home.

“During a time when students are learning in a hybrid environment of home and school, Dollar General is committed to ensuring that teachers and their students have access to the basic supplies that are vital to learning,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s vice president of corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. “We are proud to enhance our partnership with PENCIL to help ease the burden of purchasing school supplies so teachers and families can focus on instruction during this critical time in education.”

With Dollar General’s support, PENCIL is opening their first-ever ancillary store at 5380 Hickory Hollow Parkway in Antioch. This second PENCIL location aims to provide more convenient access, especially for teachers who live or work in the southeastern part of the city, and offers the same core classroom supplies available at the main location at 7199 Cockrill Bend Blvd. in West Nashville. Through the generosity of Ben and Thomas Freeland, the Antioch store space is donated in-kind for PENCIL’s use, while Dollar General has generously provided shelving, fixtures, and key supplies to the space.

PENCIL and Dollar General will host a Grand Opening and public ribbon-cutting at the Antioch location on Wednesday, January 26th from 5:30-6pm with MNPS teachers.

Fellow community advocate, LP Building Solutions, the initial seed funder and sustainer of the PENCIL Box, passed the baton to Dollar General as the new Presenting Sponsor.

In addition to their support of teachers through the DG PENCIL Box, Dollar General Literacy Foundation has been a longtime investor in PENCIL’s literacy work within MNPS through the Reading Partners program. Dollar General is also an active PENCIL Partner at Hattie Cotton Elementary School for more than three decades, and an annual lead sponsor of PENCIL’s A Little Night of Music fundraiser and Together 4 Teachers teacher supply project and pep rally.

As MNPS Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle affirms, “The commitment that Dollar General Literacy Foundation is making to our teachers and their students by sponsoring the DG PENCIL Box is extraordinary. I’m especially excited about the expansion of this vital resource into the Antioch community, where I spent many years as Executive Principal of Antioch High School and then as Community Superintendent for that area. Dollar General is supporting our MNPS teachers both now and in the future through this generous investment.”

The DG PENCIL Box will be open to Metro teachers for shopping appointments at both the West Nashville and Antioch sites here:


Founded in 1982 by a collective of Nashville business leaders, PENCIL ( links community resources to Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) to help young people achieve academic success and prepare for life. Our 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 $203 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 14.8 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

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 17,915 stores in 46 states as of October 29, 2021. 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