LP PENCIL Box Crosses $10 Million Mark in Free Supplies to Metro Nashville Schools
Nashville, TN (February 2, 2021) – PENCIL (Public Education Needs Community Involvement & Leadership), the premier nonprofit linking community resources to Nashville public schools, celebrates a major milestone this month. The LP PENCIL Box, PENCIL’s free teacher supply store, has distributed $10 million worth of school supplies to Metro Nashville teachers since its inception in 2006.
On average, Nashville teachers pay $410 out of pocket each year to bridge the gap between what families can provide and what is needed in class. The LP PENCIL Box was established with a generous grant from LP Building Solutions (LP), a leading manufacturer of high-performance building products headquartered in Nashville, as the community’s collective effort to ensure no student is hindered by the lack of supplies.
“We know that a well-supplied classroom is one where students feel cared for and are better able to learn,” shares Angie Adams, PENCIL President & CEO. “Countless teachers have told us what a relief it is to access our shop not only for essentials like pencils, copy paper, or crayons, but also – especially this year – cleaning products and PPE.”
In its first year, distributions reached $26,175 worth of supplies to teachers. In the 2019-20 school year, that number grew to $1.8 million. During this extraordinary year of near-total virtual learning, PENCIL has already distributed more supplies than the year before. PENCIL is the largest distributer of school supplies to teachers in Nashville and the LP PENCIL Box is the largest teacher resource center in the state of Tennessee.
The LP PENCIL Box’s efforts would not be possible without significant community support. The LP PENCIL Box remains stocked with core supplies thanks to the generosity of local partners, the Nashville community, ongoing support from LP Building Solutions, and national brands such as Dollar General and Kids in Need Foundation.
“As LP works to Build A Better World, it is important to us to invest in the communities where we live and work,” said LP VP, Chief Information Officer Don Walker, who also serves on PENCIL’s Board of Directors. “K-12 public education is a cornerstone of our philanthropic initiatives, making us incredibly proud to be LP PENCIL Box’s founding donor, ongoing supporter, and namesake. Teachers are critical to the fabric of Nashville’s community and to the success of our young people.”
A turning point came when PENCIL moved into its current location on Cockrill Bend Boulevard. Longtime PENCIL Partner Rogers Group Inc. stepped in to donate use of a full-fledged warehouse with a loading dock, enabling PENCIL to more than double the size of its teacher resource shop, accept tractor-trailer loads of product, and triple the volume of supplies distributed to Nashville teachers annually.
Rogers Group recently donated use of the other half of the warehouse space to PENCIL, which was renovated and equipped with additional pallet racking and storage thanks in part to a Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® investment. The added space meant PENCIL could work with MNPS to source and package 71,000 individual supply kits to support students’ at-home learning and maintain the physical LP PENCIL Box store.
This spring, PENCIL’s 2nd annual Together 4 Teachers supply campaign will kick-off an effort to equip Metro teachers with a reusable bag of most-needed items to help them build their classrooms for the 2021-22 school year. Companies and individuals can learn more at www.pencilforschools.org/together4teachers.
Please note that PENCIL President & CEO, Angie Adams, is available for interview. She can be reached at AAdams@PENCIL615.org, or by cell 615.594.5305.
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.