Metro teachers receive free supplies ahead of school year

The PENCIL Foundation holds pep rally for teachers before they go back to school.
The PENCIL Foundation holds pep rally for teachers before they go back to school.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 10:35 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Hundreds of Metro teachers made their way inside First Horizon Park Monday afternoon for a pep rally event to kick off the school year.

The PENCIL Foundation (Public Education Needs Community Involvement and Leadership), a nonprofit organization that provides school supplies and resources throughout the school year for Metro teachers, held its fourth Together 4 Teachers pep rally at the stadium.

“MNPS teachers across the district are gearing up for another great year of teaching and learning, and I’m excited to show all of our teachers how much we value their skill, tenacity and commitment to making sure every student is known, supported, cared for and on a path to success,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Schools. “Thank you so much to PENCIL, Amazon, Dollar General and Nissan for coming together to make Together 4 Teachers possible again this year.”

Hundreds of Metro Schools teachers received a free tote bag with supplies like pens, pencils, index cards, and so much more.

“As we all know, teachers are constantly using their own individual funding to ensure students’ needs are met. We are often in desperate need throughout the year for pencils, highlighters, rulers,” said Maplewood High School teacher Martha Shaffer.

Shaffer has been in the classroom for almost two decades. She’s also a PENCIL Foundation ambassador for her school.

“With PENCIL Foundation, that is something that is a little bit less of a burden to all of the teachers and it really helps,” said Shaffer.

During the pep rally, Battle spoke to teachers thanking them for their hard work year around. They got the chance to get some food, win prizes, dance, and hear from award-winning country music artist Trisha Yearwood.

“Teachers on average spend around $500 a year out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. In particular, the supplies we give them tonight are specifically for their desk. So, it’s things like adult scissors and dry erase markers and posted notes and just to let them know that we have their backs,” said Joe Wright, Director of DG Pencil Box Program.

The organization supplied over 1,300 tote bags and colleagues took some home to give to some of their colleagues who couldn’t attend the event.

“One of our main goals is to advertise the DG Pencil Box the rest of the year. The teachers are allowed to come every month to shop if they make an appointment with us and come to get supplies,” said Wright.

The first day of schools for Metro Nashville Public Schools is set for Aug. 8.