NEW YORK, Oct. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- PENCIL, the New York-based nonprofit that provides business-based innovations to the challenges facing public education today launched its 2011-12 PENCIL Partnership Program. New York City Schools' Chancellor Dennis Walcott and top business CEOs launched PENCIL's Step Up for Schools Campaign: Reach 750, challenging the NYC business community to renew its commitment to education and support the city's future financial competitiveness. The year-round engagement campaign aims to engage new business partners in the city's public schools to double the number of schools served to 750. A major component of the campaign launched today is a new, citywide advertising campaign created pro bono by Ogilvy to support PENCIL's effort.
"The success of our city depends on the capacity of our public schools to deliver a rewarding education, and business investment and participation are key to making that happen," said Michael Haberman, president of PENCIL. "Every business that operates in New York must take some element of ownership for the results of our schools. We can see the tremendous, lasting and positive results of business engagement—but to overcome the very real, daily challenges our schools face, we must step up that engagement."
"Having been involved with PENCIL for the past eight years, I am thrilled to be Chair of this incredible organization, working with our partners, board members and staff to move us into the next phase of PENCIL's evolution," said Dave Barger, President and CEO of JetBlue Airways, and chair of the PENCIL Board. "PENCIL's Step Up for Schools campaign is a critical next step in helping to ensure the vitality of our community and future of our city's schools."
A celebration breakfast, sponsored by PENCIL Partners CA Technologies and Macy's, Inc., was held today honoring this year's participants in the PENCIL Partnership Program, and featured a panel discussion, "Conversation Among Leaders," which was led by Master of Ceremonies Maurice DuBois, anchor, WCBS TV, and a PENCIL board member and partner. Featured participants in the conversation included E. Scott Beattie, Chairman, CEO and President, Elizabeth Arden, Inc.; Talana Bradley, Principal, The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn; and Shelly Lazarus, Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather, who shared their views on the critical importance of business engagement in public schools. The breakfast was immediately followed by business partners' visits to dozens of schools throughout the five boroughs.
As a long-time PENCIL Partner to PS 123 in Harlem, Ogilvy's involvement with PENCIL also grew this year to include a citywide, multimedia ad campaign created and produced pro bono by Ogilvy. "PENCIL is unique in this space and we are proud to support their Step Up For Schools campaign," said Shelly Lazarus. "It's wonderful to be able to use our expertise and resources as a global marketing and communications company to tell the PENCIL story and encourage more members of the city's business community to step up and make a difference in the future of our city's school system." The campaign will soon be seen on bus shelters, billboards, newsstands, in taxis, print, and on the radio courtesy of Captivate, CCO, Cemusa, CBS, Fox5NY.com, the NYPost.com, Lamar, Titan, Van Wagner, Verifone and other media outlets.
PENCIL, founded in 1995, pioneered public education partnerships in New York City by connecting businesses with public school leaders to improve student achievement. Today's public schools need the resources, knowledge and inspiration that businesses can provide, and PENCIL's Partnership Program supports strategic, long-term, partnerships based on unique school needs and business expertise. The Step Up for Schools initiative will seek to double the number of NYC schools being served by participating PENCIL Partners from the city's business community.
The PENCIL Partnership Program has recently expanded beyond New York City to Rochester, Philadelphia and Baltimore, providing an effective national model that creates positive change in schools through the development of results-driven partnerships and strategic matching of business leaders with administrators from partner schools. By leveraging their expertise, talent and resources, PENCIL business partners work to address the needs of an individual school and its community by working directly with school leaders. PENCIL's team of dedicated relationship managers supports these partnerships throughout the year.
For more information about PENCIL, visit its website at www.PENCIL.org or call 646-638-0565.