Monthly Archives: August 2014

Bowling for Junior Achievement

Over seventy members of the Dixon family recently got together and challenged one another to participate in a fundraising Bowl-A-Thon. The cause is one near and dear to my heart:  Junior Achievement.  I join the massive alumni of Junior Achievement members who believe that the experience of being in Junior Achievement positively impacted my future.  And because of our gutter balls and strikes, we donated just under $2,000 to Junior Achievement – enough to ensure 72 students can participate in JA next year.

When I think back on the high school programs that most influenced me, Junior Achievement tops the list.  I had some of the greatest and most impactful moments in my life thanks to participating in Junior Achievement.  I learned from leaders of my community and value the time they gave to mentor me and this is why I am thankful for the privilege to participate in Junior Achievement today.

The mission of Junior Achievement is timely and significant:  To inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.  Hopefully, along the way, one of them will also make time to help me improve my bowling score!

JA 2014 Bowl-A-Thon Fundraiser 073

Me with Team EBIDTA.

 

Top Four School Supplies for Students with Special Needs

Hello everyone, my name is Shelley Mathews and I am the Director of Education Sales at Dixon Ticonderoga Company.  The start of the new school year is an exciting and nervous time for all students. This is especially true for Students with Special Needs and their search for quality school supplies.

Shelley Mathews

Here at Dixon, we make it easy for students with special needs to use basic writing tools that are designed to help learn important skills and express creativity.  I’ve compiled a list of the Top Four School Supplies for Special Needs Students. While all of these supplies are perfect for anyone to use (teachers love our triangular shape pencils since they do not roll off the desk), each has characteristics that are ideal for those with special education needs.

  1. Tri-Write My First Ticonderoga or Tri-Write Laddie Pencils—these pencils are perfect for learning to write. Larger than traditional pencils, the Tri-Writes prevent grip slipping; the pencils’ triangular shape allows for a more natural grip. These characteristics create less frustration for students, parents and teachers! Best of all, as students progress, they can transition from the larger-sized My First Ticonderoga, to the intermediate-sized Laddie Tri-Write, and finally to the Tri-Conderoga when they feel ready for a standard-sized pencil that maintains the familiar and comfortable triangular shape.
  2. Prang Triangular Shaped Colored Pencils—like the Tri-Write pencils, these triangular-shaped colored pencils make learning and creative expression more enjoyable by promoting a more natural grip. The larger size (5.5mm compared to 3.3 mm) also allows for less grip slip as students exercise their imaginations.
  3. Prang Washable Markers—these markers have many qualities that are perfect for students with special needs. They have an extended cap-off life so when students (or adults) forget to put the cap back on, the markers don’t dry out immediately. The caps are white, and the barrels of the marker indicate the color, which may prevent meltdowns due to the wrong cap having been put on earlier. Lastly, the tips (or nibs) are made of finely woven fibers, which retain its shape when a student presses down really hard. You can actually see the tip regain its shape!
  4. Prang Color Wands– we have been told by Special Need teachers that our Color Wands are perfect for students with tactile challenges.  The Prang Color Wands have a richly vibrant color and smooth-as-silk applicability.  They are water-soluble so stains wash off easily.  The crayons are also encased in a plastic holder that allow for no messy hands. Students can apply a damp paint brush to the Color Wand drawing and create a great watercolor effect.

Giving Back to Those in Need for the New School Year

Do you know how many children in your city live in poverty?  Here in the USA, there are more than 16.4 million children living below the poverty line.  That’s one out of five American children.  But in the Parramore area of Orlando, nearly three out of four children live in poverty.  Both numbers are unacceptable.

When I think of these children, I think of how important it is not just to be a leader in our industry but also a leader in our community.

For the second year in a row, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with different Orlando-based organizations to give backpacks filled with school supplies to disadvantaged children.  This year, Dixon Ticonderoga Company partnered with the Orlando Magic NBA Basketball team, AMWAY and Orlando City Soccer to donate over 1,100 backpacks to those children in the Parramore area of Orlando. In addition to receiving backpacks filled with Ticonderoga writing and Prang art supplies, they also were able to participate in activities such as an arts and crafts table and they received popcorn and drinks courtesy of Dixon.

Working with these outstanding organizations and the Kids In Need Foundation, it is my goal that every disadvantaged child has the supplies that they need to be successful for their upcoming school year. If you would like to learn more about how to show your dedication to your community by giving backpacks to needy children, please email teachersrock@dixonusa.com. It’s never too late.

 

Orlando Magic Backpack Event 2014 223

Kids In Need Foundation National Summit

Earlier this summer, we had a great time with the folks at the Kids In Need Foundation National Summit. I’ve had the honor of being the event keynote speaker for a couple of years in a row, and it’s always one of my most memorable experiences of the year.

I’m extremely proud of our partnership with the Kids In Need Foundation, which offers teachers free school supplies at their “stores”. It has been our long-time goal to donate enough pencils to span across the United States if laid end to end.  In honor of the Summit this week, I wanted to give you an update on this ambitious goal.

  • Total # of Dollars Donated: $5,331,777.50
  • Total # of Pencils Donated: 17,456,728
    • Total # of Inches: 129,959,411
    • Total # of Feet: 10,829,951
    • Total # of Miles: 2,051

The distance from Augusta, Maine to Los Angeles, California, is about 3,200 miles. That means we’re over halfway to our goal!

 

2014-06-26 14 27 51 (2)

The Dixon Team in Las Vegas for the Kids In Need National Summit.