Governor Bredesen to Celebrate Fourth Annual Imagination Library Week with Rutherford County Program

Wednesday, September 16, 2009 | 11:47 am

Rutherford Books from Birth Marks Delivery of Over 300,000 Books; Holds Public Event to Boost Registration, Fundraising

MURFREESBORO, Tenn.Rutherford County will celebrate the benefits of books for young children in a big way, as Gov. Phil Bredesen visits Murfreesboro during Imagination Library Week in Tennessee, kicking off a fun-filled statewide celebration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Now in its fourth year, Imagination Library Week, Sept. 13-19, is packed with events aimed at bolstering enrollment and fundraising in nearly all 95 counties.
 
“Now that almost 60 percent of all eligible children in Tennessee is registered in this important pre-kindergarten literacy program, I recognize there are still many more families with young children left to reach," said Gov. Bredesen. "Imagination Library Week is an opportunity to generate greater awareness for the program, and the importance of reading to children regularly as preparation for formal education. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of volunteers in all 95 counties, strong partners like public libraries, and the generosity of our donors, we are working toward instilling a love of books and reading –at the earliest possible age– in all Tennessee children."
 
Rutherford Books from Birth will celebrate the delivery of more than 300,000 age-appropriate, hardback books to area preschool children since their countywide program’s inception in February 2006. During his visit, Gov. Bredesen will read his favorite Imagination Library books to a state funded Voluntary Pre-K for All classroom.
 
Created by Dolly Parton in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., the Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month to registered children from birth until age five—at no cost to the family, regardless of income. A blue-ribbon committee of childhood education experts selects the books for the program, which includes beloved classics like The Little Engine That Could®, The Snowy Day, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!
 
Any child in Tennessee under age five can be registered for the Imagination Library. Fifty-seven percent of our state’s eligible population –over 212,000 children– is currently registered in the program and will receive a free book in September. In RutherfordCounty, currently 8,657 children are participating – approximately 63 percent of children under age five residing in the county. Administered by the independent 501(C)(3) non-profit organization known as Rutherford Books from Birth, Rutherford County currently holds the third highest Imagination Library enrollment percentage among Tennessee’s first and second tier urban county programs (Davidson, Hamilton, Knox, Madison, Montgomery, Rutherford and Shelby).
 
Imagination Library Week 2009 is brought to you by the generous support of Dollar General Corp., a statewide sponsor of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., with a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education initiatives. Tennessee’s Dollar General locations will support countyImagination Libraries during the celebration week by: allowing volunteers to man informational tables at stores, encouraging customers with young children to enroll; and stocking enrollment brochures in key areas of visibility inside stores. Tennessee is home to more than 400 Dollar General retail locations in all 95 counties.
 
For more information on the Rutherford County Imagination Library, visit www.RutherfordBooks.org. To learn more about the statewide program or to register a child, visit www.GovernorsFoundation.org or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.
 
WHO:               Gov. Phil Bredesen, Mayor Tommy Bragg, State Sen. Jim Tracy, State Sen. Bill Ketron, State Rep. Kent Coleman, State Rep. Joe Carr; program donors, volunteers, parents & young children!
 
WHAT:             Imagination Library Week celebration and children’s story-time with the Governor
 
WHEN:             Thurs., Sept. 17th, 2009, 1:00p.m. 
 
Note that a ten-minute media availability with the Governor will take place just prior to the start of the Imagination Library Week program at 1:00 p.m. sharp.
 
WHERE:           Library of Bellwood Bowdoin Preschool, 1165 Middle Tennessee Blvd., Murfreesboro, Tenn.
 
  
MEDIA CONTACT:
MARY BETH IKARD
615-253-4349 (OFFICE)