“Time is our most precious asset, right? It makes sense to keep track of where and how we’re spending this valuable, limited resource. PENCIL Me In is an easy way to do that.” – Leia Buchanan, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Putting into words the impact of sharing professional, and sometimes personal, experiences with Nashville’s next generation of leaders is powerful. That’s the nature of the important work being done by business and community partners who give hours of their valuable time to support Metro students and teachers. The number of hours combined with related stories equals a more complete data picture that is well worth sharing. In the 2020-2021 school year, community partners contributed 19,746 volunteer hours toward supporting MNPS. We know this because many of these volunteer hours and experiences are recorded using PENCIL Me In (PMI), PENCIL’s community investment tracking tool. That said, we also believe many hours go unreported and our hope is that PMI will change that. PENCIL Me In tracks volunteer hours for PENCIL Partners and all others who invest their time and talents into Metro Nashville Public Schools; and PMI allows space for partners to share the stories connected with the numbers.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum (CMHOF), for instance, is an excellent example of a partner utilizing PENCIL Me In to keep an accurate account of their engagements with several schools. Leia Buchanan is the Director of School Programs at CMHOF, and she helps to ensure their donated time is consistently logged. She also mentioned that PMI is easy to use and that maintaining an accurate account of volunteer hours is a collaborative effort. Leia shared, “At the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, we are Academy PENCIL Partners with Cane Ridge and Pearl Cohn high schools. We are specifically aligned with arts, media, and communication through the Academies of Nashville. But we also have some informal relationships with schools that we do projects with every year. Our priority is providing field trip experiences for students and teachers. We also provide job shadow opportunities, and we have hosted numerous teacher externships. We serve thousands of MNPS students, and all our programs are standards aligned.
Like many organizations, the Country Music Hall of Fame is very data driven and using PENCIL Me In is a way to track our engagements with schools. Plus, I work with some great Academy Coaches who are such amazing advocates for tracking hours. Whenever we’re in a meeting, there’s always someone who says, ‘Don’t forget to log your hours on PENCIL Me In.’ It’s a very easy task and I super appreciate all the prompting we get. Literally, it takes two seconds to enter your time into PENCIL Me In.”
Are you signed up for PENCIL Me In? This is your invitation to take a few moments to log your generous donation of time and share a story of impact, or to get signed up. Visit https://pencilforschools.org/pencilmein/ for more information, including FAQ’s and a video tutorial. As Leia mentioned, “It’s quick and it’s easy, and it makes such a big difference. Time is our most precious asset, right? It makes sense to keep track of where and how we’re spending this valuable, limited resource. PENCIL Me In is an easy way to do that.”