County encourages families to #GetCaughtReading

Published 5:10 pm Wednesday, September 19, 2018

It has been a busy week for volunteers involved with the Carter County Imagination Library.

With a parade set for Thursday, Sept. 20, in downtown Elizabethton, the local branch of the Imagination is participating in the third annual #GetCaughtReading social media challenge, sponsored by the Governor’s Books From Birth Foundation (GBBF).

Tennessee Imagination Library Week kicked off Sunday, Sept. 16, and ends Saturday and the goal of #GetCaughtReading is to encouragE Tennesseans to post photos of them reading with their children to social media with the hashtag.

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The steps to participate include:

1) Post a #GetCaughtReading picture to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

2) Tag GBBF (@TNImagination) and all friends and family members.

3) Use the hashtags #GotCaughtReading and #TNImagination

Individuals are also encouraged to answer the poll question pinned to the top of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation to tally the total number of minutes read during Imagination Library Week.

This year proves to be a pivotal time for the organization as they celebrate the distribution of over 33 million books to children since 2003.

And the county side of the thing hasn’t been slow at work either, according to Tyler Fleming. During last year’s celebration, the volunteers held a ceremony that saw over 500 students from area schools march downtown and show their support for the initiative.

This year has been no different. The Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library plays a key role with the county’s involvement with the program.

While the program focuses on children, the county Imagination Library chapter offers something for all members of the public that help serve children. This year, the organization held the 13th annual Educators Hall of Fame, which recognizes current and past educators from the Elizabethton and Carter County school districts.

Initiatives like the Imagination Library continue to coincide with the state’s Read to be Ready goal — a mission to have 70 percent of third graders reading on level by 2025.

To assist with the endeavor, both county and city were recipients of Read to be Ready grants and now have mobile book buses that can be used over the summer to present area youth with books to stall any “summer slump” of reading.

GBBF rep Abby Graves said it was a joy to see children take a vested interest in the program.

In August, the organization received $4,100 thanks in part to a Thunderbird rally that was held downtown in conjunction with the Carter County Cruise-In.

By participating in the program, a child could receive around 60 free ebooks before starting kindergarten. More information on the program can be obtained by contacting the library at (423) 547-6360.