Minneapolis, Minn. (June 7, 2021) – After a year like no other, teachers and students nationwide are gearing up for a busier summer school season than ever. According to Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators, “Traditionally, summer school has been a program for kids that have not done well in school to try to make up. This year’s going to be different because now that applies to everybody.”
Kids In Need Foundation (KINF) and Dixon Ticonderoga Company are collaborating to ensure students have arguably the most iconic supply in their hands for summer learning and for the upcoming school year: Pencils. Kicked off by NFL Network commentator Ian Rapoport, through June 23, 2021,* for every post on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that includes #PostForPencils, 20 pencils will be donated to under-resourced students through KINF. Dixon Ticonderoga Company will donate up to 3 million pencils.
#PostForPencils will be supported by individuals passionate about supporting teachers and students in underserved schools across all industries, including sports, entertainment, music, and education. Coming off of a school year that presented an array of challenges, this is an opportunity for individuals to come together to support an unassailable cause: ensuring under-resourced students have the supplies they need to learn. For more information, visit KINF.org/PostForPencils.
Year in and year out, the school supply teachers request most is the pencil. In KINF’s 2020 Teacher Impact Survey, despite an increased need and reliance on digital tools during the 2020-21 school year, pencils still reigned supreme as the most-requested and needed supply in the classroom. This simple tool powers learning, writing, and creativity in the classroom. While students were learning from home over the last year, digital learning took pencils out of their hands. Upon return to school, teachers nationwide saw a decline in writing skills in their classrooms.
“The pencil is the foundation of learning — enabling creativity, ideas, and coordination, as well as teaching students it’s okay to make mistakes,” said Corey Gordon, CEO of KINF. “As students return to the classroom for summer school and the upcoming year, it’s imperative that they have the supplies they need to learn. We are grateful to Dixon Ticonderoga Company’s commitment to education through #PostForPencils, a campaign that rallies the masses to support under-resourced students and equity in the classroom through posts on social media.”
“We’re honored to partner with Kids In Need Foundation on this important initiative,” said Steve Boyea, EVP Marketing for Dixon Ticonderoga. “A single pencil can write up to 45,000 words and we’re inspired by the possibility that exists when we get 3 million pencils into the hands of students to help them learn, create and thrive. The pencil is a catalyst for creativity and we’re proud to help ensure every student has the opportunity to shine.”
“I learned to write in third grade. I mean, I knew how to use a pencil much earlier, but in Mrs. Bellofatto’s at Grafflin Elementary School class, I really learned to write. How to tell stories, how to interview, how to get the thoughts from my brain to the paper,” said Rapoport. “The skill that took me to four newspapers covering the biggest athletic programs in the country and eventually to NFL Network covering the biggest sport. Nothing is more important to me than kids learning to write. It is essential. No child should ever be without a pencil.”
Last year, Rapoport and his wife, Leah, and their children, Max and Jude, supported KINF’s collaboration with Blessings in a Backpack, providing supplementary food and basic school supplies to students nationwide.
Teachers are also excited about this initiative. Brooke Brown of Teach Outside the Box, is a teacher in Oklahoma entering her 18th year and is currently serving as a Gifted Resource Coordinator for early childhood students, teaching Gifted and Talented, STEM, Math Enrichment, and Advanced Literacy “Book Clubs” for Kindergarten, first grade, and second grade. Brooke understands the power of the pencil. ““After this year of digital learning, I’m excited to take a break from the screens and get back to researching, drawing and labeling blueprints, and recording observations in our paper STEM journals. The power of the pencil to help young students process and retain information is so important and this program will get these essential supplies to the students who need them most.”
For more information about the KINF and its programs, please visit www.kinf.org.
About Kids In Need Foundation:
Kids In Need Foundation (KINF), a nonprofit organization that believes every child in America deserves equal opportunity and access to a quality education, provides the support and tools needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn. By providing essential school supplies, distance learning resources, and other classroom items in high demand, KINF partners with teachers in underserved schools to ensure students are prepared to learn in the classroom. In 2020, through its programs and National Network of Resource Centers, comprised of more than 40 mission-driven organizations nationwide, KINF served an estimated 5 million students, 205,000 teachers, and provided over $70 million in product at no cost to schools or teachers. For more information, visit KINF.org, and join us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter: @KidsInNeed.
About Dixon Ticonderoga Company:
At Dixon Ticonderoga Company, we enable students, thinkers, and artists to transform their vision into reality. We do this because we believe creativity can change the world. This is why we produce the world’s best pencil, the finest art papers, premium art supplies, craft essentials, and more…to give everyone the tools and confidence to put pencil to paper, make that first brush stroke or share their ideas. Dixon Ticonderoga Company. The Catalyst of Creativity. Learn more at https://dixonticonderogacompany.com/.
*#PostForPencils runs June 7-23, 2021. Dixon Ticonderoga Company has generously agreed to donate up to 3 million pencils. Pencils provided may be different from those in the images used.