Kids In Need Foundation and Dollar General Literacy Foundation partner to provide school supplies in wake of Nashville tornadoes, school closures

NASHVILLE – June 24, 2020The Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a national nonprofit dedicated to providing free school supplies to students most in need, through its Second Responder® program, has partnered with Dollar General Literacy Foundation to support students, teachers and schools impacted by recent tornadoes that affected the Greater Nashville area. While efforts were initially mobilized in collaboration with PENCIL to respond to the natural disaster, the need for school supplies became more substantial as students transitioned to distance learning with schools closing to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Through KINF’s Second Responder® program in partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the supplies provided supported more than 8,000 students in the Nashville Metro Schools. Collaborating with PENCIL, an organization that partners with KINF as a part of its National Network of Affiliate Organizations, in immediate response to the tornadoes, 300 students received backpacks filled with school supplies, and 76 teachers received supply kits that featured backpacks, school supplies and paper towels. Hundreds of Scholastic books were also provided to students during the distribution.

These efforts are in response to the tornado outbreak of March 2-3 that affected West and Middle Tennessee, including one that hit downtown Nashville and another that impacted areas in the western part of Cookeville. 

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation, which also calls the Nashville area home, worked closely with KINF and PENCIL to provide supplies following the tornadoes. Shortly thereafter,  schools began closing due to COVID-19 concerns, adding to the need across communities. PENCIL also distributed 1,500 student packs that included basic supplies and workbooks during the first two weeks of the COVID-19 response and will ultimately serve at least 8,000 students with the supplies donated through KINF and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation.

“We’re proud our Second Responder program can help ease the burden on families when natural disasters arise, but the collaboration of Dollar General Literacy Foundation, PENCIL and KINF became even more important as families began to balance recovering from the tornadoes with distance learning,” said Corey Gordon, CEO of The Kids In Need Foundation. “While we work with our partners to adjust to the ever-changing environment caused by the global pandemic, the commitment to education and literacy demonstrated by Dollar General Literacy Foundation becomes more apparent and we are grateful for their partnership in ensuring students can continue learning.”

KINF and Dollar General Literacy Foundation are committed to ensuring that every child should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education – despite all circumstances. By providing school supplies and books to students and teachers following natural disasters and amidst the pandemic, KINF and Dollar General Literacy Foundation are inspiring students to continue to achieve their full potential through education. 

“We are extremely proud to partner with KINF, PENCIL and Metro Nashville Public Schools to help bring critical supplies to students and teachers in their time of need,” said Denine Torr, Executive Director of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. “The tornado impacted so many of our neighbors, and we hope these supplies, educational materials, books and support will help rebuild and bring a sense of normalcy to impacted families during these tough times.”

“Our partnership with The Kids in Need Foundation has been transformational for our free teacher supply store, the LP PENCIL Box. Together with KINF and the generosity and vision of Dollar General, PENCIL has been able to serve more public school teachers, and provide more high quality supplies, this year than ever before,” shared Angie Adams, PENCIL President & CEO.

“Supplies are essential to a teacher’s ability to teach and a student’s ability to learn,” said Dr. Adrienne Battle, director of Metro Nashville Public Schools. “We were so fortunate to have the Kids in Need Foundation, Dollar General Literacy Foundation and our longtime partner PENCIL in our corner during a spring unlike any our school district had ever seen before. They filled a huge void for our students and teachers, and we can’t thank them enough.”

To learn more about KINF’s help with disaster relief efforts, visit


About Kids In Need Foundation

The Kids In Need Foundation provides the support and tools needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn as a quality education is the best gateway to opportunity, and students cannot achieve their full potential without it. With a focus on supporting schools most in need nationwide, Kids In Need Foundation believes that every child in America should have equal opportunity and access to a quality education. Founded in 1995, Kids In Need Foundation, a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has distributed $1 billion in school supplies since its inception. For more information, visit, and join us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @KidsInNeed.

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 $180 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 11 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, visit


Founded in 1982, PENCIL is the premier organization linking community resources of both volunteers and materials with Metro Nashville Public Schools. PENCIL recruits and manages relationships with over 600 businesses that engage their employees as volunteers and mentors, provide academic enrichment opportunities, prepare students for graduation, and get school supplies in the hands of children who need them. You can learn more about PENCIL at