NASHVILLE, Tenn., – October 19, 2020 – PENCIL, Nashville’s premier organization linking community resources to Metro Nashville Public Schools, announced they have equipped pre-kindergarten students across MNPS with a robust package of at-home learning supplies, made possible by a $75,000 grant from the PNC Foundation.

“We are grateful to PNC Foundation for ensuring that thousands of Nashville pre-schoolers will have access to high-quality, engaging materials at home during this challenging time. It’s especially important, given that as many as three-quarters of Metro Nashville Public School families are experiencing economic distress, and these tools will be available quickly and at no cost to families,” shared PENCIL President & CEO, Angie Adams.

The funding from PNC Foundation enabled PENCIL to create and distribute 2,000 robust supply kits for pre-k students across the district.  These educational kits provide great support for at-home growth and development and will also help to ease the transition back to in-person learning that has just begun.  PENCIL will also distribute an additional 1,000 at-home learning kits, provided separately through PNC Grow Up Great®.

MNPS Director of Pre-kindergarten Programs, Phyllis Phillips, collaborated with PNC Foundation and PENCIL to determine the items needed for these kits to best support our youngest learners.  MNPS uses the Creative Curriculum, a project-based curriculum providing hands-on, authentic learning experiences, which will be greatly complemented by these kits—helping children to develop confidence, creativity, and lifelong critical thinking skills.  Examples of kit materials include: Write and Wipe Lapboard, Counting Bears, Learn-at-Home Activities Book, and Journal Paper. “PNC’s commitment to Tennessee has never been more important as we collectively navigate the overwhelming challenges posed by this pandemic,” said Mike Johnson, PNC regional president for Tennessee.  “We recognize our role as a pillar of the communities we serve and actively work with organizations like PENCIL and MNPS to provide solutions that meet fundamental needs of our local families and children.”

“PENCIL always finds a way and finds the resources to support our students and teachers,” Director of Schools Dr. Adrienne Battle said. “PNC Foundation’s extremely generous grant will make learning easier, more hands-on and more fun for our Pre-K students as they return to 189 classrooms across our district. PENCIL and PNC Foundation are making a big difference for our youngest learners in Nashville and Davidson County.”

Supplies for the kits were moved through the LP PENCIL Box, PENCIL’s free teacher resource center.  Frequently used for in-person teacher shopping, the pandemic has increased the amount of distribution running through the LP PENCIL Box warehouse.  PENCIL has already begun retrofitting the space to keep up with an increased demand for school supplies across the District and to provide ample room for sorting and packaging to get kits out quickly to students in need.

Read about this partnership in the Nashville Post HERE!

About PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

About PENCIL Founded in 1982, PENCIL ( 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.