Big Success for A Little Night of Music
Tagged: Uncategorized
February 24, 2017

A Little Night of Music, PENCIL's signature fundraising event, is a collaboration with Creative Artists Agency that has built a bridge between the music industry and public education in Nashville to raise funds for the programming that supports Metro Nashville Public Schools students.

This year's event was a huge success as guests joined Holly Williams and Montgomery Gentry on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry for an incredibly unique and intimate concert. Guests sipped signature Nashville-inspired cocktails, sampled an array of southern delicacies, enjoyed fun with friends at the photo booth, and picked up great gear and adventures in the silent auction. Relive the night's memories with this slideshow

To see more photos from the event, check out these links: 

Patron Party Photos

A Little Night of Music Photos

Photo-booth Photos


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How you can help improve Metro schools' reading level - Angie Adams for The Tennessean
On: February 24, 2017

Metro’s new director of schools, Shawn Joseph, has made it clear that raising childhood literacy rates will be front and center in his administration.

Mayor Megan Barry has been in lockstep with Joseph on the issue, and PENCIL was honored when chosen to be a part of the literacy collaborative that the mayor created last December to address the problem.

The literacy collaborative is a mix of city leaders and other nonprofits, like the Nashville Public Library and the Nashville Public Education Foundation, tasked with creating a birth-to-third-grade literacy initiative.

It has been well-documented that children who aren’t reading at grade-level by the third grade are four times more likely not to graduate high school, and 13 times more likely if they live in poverty.

While creating and implementing effective policy is crucial in tackling the problem, it takes time. Many children need help now, and it’s up to us as a community to lift a hand today.

At PENCIL, we work with struggling readers every day through our Reading Partners program, a volunteer-driven program that places more than 800 PENCIL partners in schools throughout our city.

The people participating in PENCIL’S Reading Partners program have made the choice to be personally involved in Nashville’s push to raise our childhood literacy rates. These community volunteers sit down one-on-one with struggling readers in MNPS Reading Clinics for just 30 minutes a week for at least eight weeks – though most continue working with children far beyond this time period.

Primary students, up to third grade, who participate in a minimum of 30 lessons in MNPS Reading Clinics average a gain of two or more text levels. Students reading text with more complex concepts, content and vocabulary average a gain of two or more text levels in 36 lessons.

Watching a child unlock their world through literacy is a truly powerful thing. I can speak to this from my own time as a reading partner. To be a part of the transformation of a struggling reader into a proficient one is life-changing and something everyone should experience.

We are doubling down on our efforts in 2017. We recently hired two coordinators whose sole focus is to enhance the program and recruit and train the best volunteers possible for two schools chosen by Metro, Churchwell and Buena Vista Elementary schools, that are especially in need.

More than half of MNPS students are below their grade level in reading comprehension. If you want to be hands-on in the fight to raise childhood literacy rates, there is no better way than becoming one of our reading partners today.

While there is much work to be done to continue to make Nashville the greatest public school system in the country, with your help, there is no reason to think we can’t be just that.

Angie Adams is the president and CEO of PENCIL.

Article Available on The Tennessean

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Montgomery Gentry Headlines PENCIL’s Signature Fundraising Event - A Little Night of Music will also feature Holly Williams
On: February 1, 2017

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the Grand Ole Opry House will once-again fill with business and community leaders from across Nashville for A Little Night of Music, PENCIL’s annual signature fundraising event. This year, PENCIL is honored to announce that Montgomery Gentry will headline the night.

Montgomery Gentry burst onto the national scene in 1999 with the hit song “Hillbilly Shoes” and since then has secured a place in musical history with a unique blend of country, Southern rock and Everly Brothers-like harmonies combined with relatable lyrics.

“We always love playing at the Opry House and especially so when it’s for a great cause,” said Troy Gentry. “PENCIL does important work for Metro Schools students, and we are glad to help support its mission.”

Holly Williams will open for Montgomery Gentry. The singer/songwriter, finding her own voice while following in the footsteps of her grandfather Hank Sr. and father Hank Jr., released her debut album in 2004. According to NPR, Ms. Williams isn't living in anyone's shadow; she's got her own sound and is making a name for herself.

“We can’t wait for what promises to be another fantastic evening you won’t want to miss,” said Angie Adams, PENCIL’s president and CEO. “Thanks to our friends at Creative Artists Agency, A Little Night of Music has become a truly special occasion that continues to have a huge impact on the students of Nashville’s public schools.”

A Little Night of Music is a collaboration with Creative Artists Agency that has built a bridge between the music industry and public education in Nashville. In its 12 years, the annual event has raised more than $1.2 million for PENCIL and the programming that supports Metro Nashville Public Schools students. 

Creative Artists Agency, Ryman Hospitality Properties and Dollar General are proud to act as presenters of the event showcasing the roots of Music City USA.

Tickets to the event are available now. Guests enjoy exclusive valet parking and enter through the Artists’ Entrance backstage. Once inside, they enjoy hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and an exciting Silent Auction before joining our special artists on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House for the show.

For more information and reservations, visit

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Angie Adams Named One of Nashville Business Journal's Women of Influence
On: January 3, 2017

Angie Adams, PENCIL's President & CEO, has been named one of Nashville Business Journal's Women of Influence for 2017. 

Each year, the Nashville Business Journal (NBJ) announces a list of Women of Influence winners. To come up with the list of 32 honorees, NBJ solicits nominations from the public. An independent panel of judges, comprised of past winners, scores the nominees on a variety of criteria, including professional accomplishments and community involvement. Those with the highest scores make the annual list.

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PENCIL is the Charity Partner for Purity's Moosic City DairyPure Dash!
On: December 6, 2016

Purity Dairies is hosting the 17th annual Moosic City DairyPure Dash on April 15, 2017, at Metro Center in Nashville, Tennessee. The event will feature a little something for everyone - the Lee Company 1 Mile WUNDER Fun Run, 5K/10K and the Regions Smitty 15K. 

Every year, 100% of the proceeds from the DairyPure Dash benefits a local children's charity. Since its inception in 2000, the Purity DairyPure Dash has raised over $600,000 for nonprofit organizations including Ronald McDonald House, Our Kids, Monroe Carrell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and many more. The 2017 recipient of funds will be PENCIL!

Please join us:

  • Register for the race here
  • Sign up to volunteer for the event here
  • Learn more by visiting Purity's DairyPure website


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Principal for a Day
On: September 2, 2016

Principal for a Day is an exclusive invitation-only event that offers an opportunity for PENCIL Partners, donors, business and community leaders to spend the morning of November 17, 2016 with a Metro principal. As a Principal for the Day, you will meet the school's students and staff throughout the morning in a series of activities unique to each school. The day will conclude with a luncheon for principals and their guests. We want all our city's leaders to see the great things happening in our schools as we change the dialogue about public education in Nashville.

Principal for a Day is one of a number of opportunities offered at our $500 and above giving level.

Click here to donate now.

Contact Karen Kaiser at for more information.

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New space is feeling like home!
On: August 23, 2016

We were delighted to welcome more than 75 visitors to our Open House on Aug. 16 as they toured PENCIL's new offices in the historic Cohn School at 4805 Park Ave, Nashville, TN 37209. Equally exciting ... everyone brought a donation of school supplies for the LP PENCIL Box! Many thanks to all our supporters for their encouragement and support for MNPS students. 

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