School director reads to children at East Side to celebrate program

Published 9:20 am Monday, September 21, 2015

NW0920 Ghour
Thursday morning at East Side Elementary, Elizabethton Schools Director Corey Gardenhour read to children in honor of Imagination Library Week.
They were costumed like their favorite book characters and eagerly listened as Gardenhour read.
Throughout story time, he asked comprehensive questions, encouraging participation and plot retention, as well as teaching the students about empathy by helping them to relate to the characters. He asked students if they, too, cleaned up their toys after playing at home, like the character, and if they had ever had similar experiences to those in the book.
“This is the best part of my job,” Gardenhour said smiling after the children did a cyclone round of applause.
The Imagination Library currently distributes books to over 243,500 Tennessee children from birth to age five each month, regardless of family income.
“Early literacy skills begin to develop in a child’s first five years of life,” said First Lady Crissy Haslam. “Children need to hear words, sentence structure, vocabulary and rhymes to be ready to learn. Tennessee’s Imagination Library is helping children experience many books before they enter kindergarten.”
Since 2004, it has distributed over 24 million books to kids in all of Tennessee’s 95 counties, through a collaboration with Governor Bill Haslam’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF). The Imagination Library itself was established in 1996 by Dolly Parton for children in her hometown of Seveirville, TN.
An annual donation of $25 provides 12 new, high-quality, age-appropriate books to one child for a year.
With vital financial support from the Tennessee General Assembly, foundations individuals and private and corporate sponsors, the GBBF funds half the cost of books and shipping for Tennessee’s Imagination Library affiliates. Each county affiliate is responsible for raising the other half. For information on how to support the Carter County Imagination Library or how to enroll a child, visit or call toll-free 1-877-99-BOOKS.

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