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Imagination celebration ready to roll into town

Published 9:13am Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Governor’s Books from Birth 10th Anniversary Tour rolls into Elizabethton Wednesday morning, and greeting it will be the Carter County Imagination Library’s celebration beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The Carter County celebration will feature a short parade including preschool and headstart children from the city and county school systems and a short birthday party for the children in honor of the anniversary.
CCIL Chair Lilo Duncan said children will begin their march near Carter County Bank on East Elk Avenue. From there they will cross over to the grassy lot behind Tetrick Funeral Home for a short welcoming ceremony and then on to Edwards Island for the party.
Duncan noted that the celebration would have a special guest, Tennessee first lady Crissy Haslam.
The bus tour will stop in 50 counties in Tennessee, starting with Johnson County today and ending in Nashville on Sept. 30.
The purpose of the “Books from Birth 10th Anniversary Tour” is to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee and the more than 20 million books mailed to children since the program began.
Bus stop activities will include enrolling children, recognizing the work of volunteers and donors and engaging communities in support of the program. The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation will provide reading-themed giveaways for children at each stop.
“This is truly an amazing state-wide outreach effort that will celebrate and build awareness for Books from Birth,” Haslam said. “It is critical that our children are exposed to books and reading at the earliest possible age. Tennessee’s Imagination Library program, supported by the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, is a proven and essential component of our state’s early childhood development initiatives.”
The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation was created in 2004 to give every child in Tennessee from birth to age 5 access to receiving Imagination Library books at no cost to families, regardless of income. With funding support from the Tennessee General Assembly, foundations, individual donors and corporations, the GBBF matches all funds raised by each county’s Imagination Library affiliate — a public-private partnership unique to Tennessee.
“We are thrilled to visit over 50 counties in late August and September to thank everyone who has contributed to this program’s success,” said Theresa Carl, president of GBBF. “Statewide impact studies show that children who have received these books are better prepared for kindergarten, have increased reading skills, and develop a love of reading.”

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