Imagination Library

McMinn County Education Foundation members look through books in advance of Imagination Library Week next week. Shown here are (front row, from left) Winona Pless, Susan Scott, Becky Jaquish, Beth Jackson, Cathy Castor, (back row, from left) Sharon Brown, Melinda King, Carla Wade, Tracy Gartmann, Julia Reedy, Jennifer Hershey, Shane Sewell, Linda McGill, and John Burroughs.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam have proclaimed next week Imagination Library Week.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a program that mails free books to children from birth through age five in participating communities.

Parton started the program in her home county in 1995 and has since expanded the gifting program throughout the United States and three other countries. Millions of books have been sent to children all over the world courtesy of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation is a nonprofit organization in partnership with Imagination Library that helps fundraise for books sent to 95 counties in Tennessee. Haslam and his wife proclaimed Sept. 16 through 22 Imagination Library Week in order to increase awareness of the programs throughout the state.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is one of McMinn County Educational and Community Foundation’s projects to enhance and promote education and literacy within McMinn County.

Executive Director of McMinn County Educational and Community Foundation Julia Reedy commented on the significance of Imagination Library Week.

“Imagination Library Week is important for a couple of reasons,” said Reedy. “One is to show appreciation to the Dolly Foundation, the Governor’s Books From Birth Foundation, and the local McMinn County Education Foundation for providing this program. The second reason is all about awareness of the program for families who may not be familiar with it.”

Citizens are encouraged to help increase registration and awareness of Imagination Library by reading next week and participating on social media. There are two ways that Imagination Library supporters and reading enthusiasts can participate on social media.

Videos and photos of parents, citizens, and/or children reading Imagination Library Books can be posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram by tagging Imagination Library or by using the hashtags #GotCaughtReading and #TNImagination.

Some participants will be selected to win Imagination Library prizes.

Additionally, literacy enthusiasts can celebrate Imagination Library Week by keeping a reading log on the website https://kbs.wufoo.com/forms/z8ribmt1spmwqi so that the state can determine how many minutes were dedicated to reading statewide next week. Tennesseeans can also contribute to the state poll on the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/TNImaginationLibrary.

According to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, reading for 20 minutes a day is said to substantially increase children’s vocabulary and literacy levels.

Reedy also noted the importance of reading in general.

“As a former teacher and the director of the McMinn County Education Foundation, as well as a mother and grandmother, I know full well the importance of being able to read and to enjoy it,” she said. “Without being able to read, all other subjects are made so much more difficult, even math. Reading is a means to learn anything and to take the reader anywhere.”

For more information about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, visit the website online at https://imaginationlibrary.com

Additional information about the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation can be retrieved at their website online at www.governorsfoundation.org

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