Comcast Demonstrates Commitment to Literacy Among Tennessee Children

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | 02:05 pm
Governor's Books from Birth Foundation President Jeff Conyers, Comcast Area Vice-President John Gauder and Governor Phil Bredesen
Governor's Books from Birth Foundation President Jeff Conyers, Comcast Area Vice-President John Gauder and Governor Phil Bredesen

NASHVILLE-- Children all across Tennessee are thanking Comcast after the fulfillment of their $150,000 commitment over three years to the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF), ensuring that books are in the hands of kids developing their vocabulary, school readiness, and love of learning and reading. GBBF, in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and local affiliates in each county, ensures that free, high quality, age-appropriate books are mailed once a month directly to registered children’s homes in Tennessee, from birth until age five. 

The donation of $150,000 has the potential to fund more than 6,000 Tennessee children to receive one book per month for an entire year.   The funds will primarily support the GBBF’s Distressed County Grant program – which covers up to the full cost of monthly Imagination Library book orders in Tennessee counties where funding for the program falls short.

This commitment by Comcast was in addition to other forms of support from the cable company. Comcast also contributed more than $1 million worth of publicity by airing Governor Phil Bredesen and Dolly Parton’s Public Service Announcement across their stations as an in-kind donation to the program.

“Comcast is a founding sponsor of GBBF and proud of our ongoing relationship with GBBF and the positive influence it has across Tennessee,” said Terri Weldon, director of government affairs and public relations for Comcast in Middle Tennessee. “Our partnership with GBBF is a perfect example of just how dynamic public-private partnerships can be and demonstrates how Comcast is committed to investing in the communities where we operate each and every day.”

Currently, 58 percent of all Tennessee children ages 0-5 are registered in the Imagination Library and are receiving free books in the mail. More than 155,000 Tennessee five-year-olds have already “graduated” from the program. The statewide program has helped deliver more than 9.4 million books to Tennessee children since the creation of the GBBF in 2004.

Created in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., the Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, high-quality book every month to registered children, from birth until age five – at no cost to the family, regardless of income. Just $24 annually provides for the purchase and delivery of 12 books to one child. This cost is split evenly between a non-profit sponsoring organization in every Tennessee county, and a state budgetary allocation administered by the GBBF.

About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. With 24.1 million cable customers, 13.2 million high-speed Internet customers, and 4.6 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content. Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.

About the Comcast Foundation:
The Comcast Foundation was established by Comcast Corporation in 1999 to provide charitable support to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact in the areas of volunteerism, literacy, and youth leadership development.  Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $43 million to organizations in the communities that Comcast serves.  More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/neighborhood. 

About the GBBF:
The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation® was established in 2004 by Gov. Phil Bredesen and currently serves Imagination Library organizers in all 95 counties by providing fund-raising, public relations, and other support. 
 

To learn how to support your county’s Imagination Library program, or for information on how to register a child, visit www.GovernorsFoundation.org or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.