MACY’s Boosts Support For Schools

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On September 10, more than 100 business leaders from New York City joined host Terry Lundgren, Chairman, President and CEO of Macy’s, for an evening cocktail reception in support of the nonprofit organization PENCIL. 

Guests, including Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren President and COO Roger Farah and Phillips-Van Heusen Chairman and CEO Emanuel Chirico, gathered at Macy’s Herald Square to learn about PENCIL’s work to improve student achievement by creating and supporting customized partnerships between New York business leaders and public schools. 

Since 1995, PENCIL has enabled business leaders to leverage their expertise and resources in order to make a meaningful impact on schools and the students they serve.   Launched every year on Principal For A Day, the organization’s partnership program has been responsible for hundreds of long-term relationships that have spawned innovative school-based initiatives; from parent involvement and curriculum development projects to career awareness opportunities. 

Guests at the September 10 reception browsed through a display of partnership photos and projects before hearing more about PENCIL from Lundgren; his PENCIL partner, Principal Genevieve Stanislaus of the Life Sciences Secondary School; and PENCIL President Michael Haberman.

“I’ve gotten back as much as I’ve put in,” Lundgren told the guests. “By developing a team approach to our partnership, we’ve boosted employee morale and a desire for cross-collaboration among Macy’s employees.  And of course, there’s nothing more fulfilling as a business leader than to know I’m improving the education of my future clients and employees.” Lundgren strongly encouraged guests to participate personally and to get their companies involved.

Stanislaus described how the partnership has positively benefited her students by providing them a sense of pride and hope in their future career options. When she described her desire for every student to attend college—and that all the members of a recent class in fact did—Lundgren responded by providing each graduate with a $2000 scholarship.

Stanislaus and Lundgren have also worked together to bring necessary tools into the school—such as safety goggles, microscopes and lab coats.  Because not all of the students share an interest in science, (which is the school’s academic focus), they are now working on creating career awareness programs that expose them to other fields.

 “PENCIL is one of the most effective tools I’ve ever had in my twenty-seven years as a principal,” Stanislaus said. “By partnering with Terry, I’ve been able to work with someone who sees issues from a different perspective, which makes all the difference.  I can’t tell you what a solace it has been to have him as a shoulder to lean on.”

Haberman added that PENCIL’s job is to “ensure that it’s possible for you to do whatever you want with your school—whether it’s technology, leadership development, career awareness, or curriculum enhancement” by providing support tools such as workshops and best project templates.  In addition, he explained that PENCIL assigns an individual Partnership Coordinator to work with school and business leaders on brainstorming and implementing plans.  As a result, PENCIL business partners have been able to discover creative, sustainable ways of impacting public schools beyond financial contributions.

“You can make a difference—you’re not going to change the system over night, but you can play a part in transforming our public education system one school at a time,” he said.

To help PENCIL provide a partner for every school that needs one, or for more information on the program, visit or call 646-638-0565.

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