Imagination Library Week upcoming

Staff Reports • Updated Sep 15, 2016 at 2:30 PM

Gov. Bill Haslam proclaimed the third week of September each year as Imagination Library Week in Tennessee.  

This year’s dates are Sept. 18-23.  

Dolly Parton started the Imagination Library program in 1996 as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville. Enrolled children receive one new, high-quality, age-appropriate book every month, from birth until 5 years old, at no cost to families and regardless of income.

The Imagination Library is made available to all Tennessee children, from birth to 5 years old, through a unique, three-way partnership between Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Wilson Books from Birth. The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation was created in 2004 to provide financial and administrative support for each county affiliate.  Tennessee is the only state to have the Imagination Library program in every one of its 95 counties.

In September 2005, a group of volunteers from across Wilson County replicated the Imagination Library in Wilson County as Wilson Books from Birth under Wilson Business and Education Coalition, Inc. – a tax-exempt entity of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce.  

This year marks the 11th anniversary of Wilson Books from Birth, and there is much to celebrate, according to director Peggy Simpson. Since 2005, more than 529,961 books were delivered to children in the community. Currently 73 percent of all children younger than 5 living in Wilson County are enrolled in the Imagination Library program. Each month, the Wilson Books from Birth program delivers more than 5,300 books to children. More than 9,400 Wilson County 5 year olds have already “graduated” from the program.

Wilson Books from Birth invites individuals from the community to read in the pre-kindergarten classrooms and childcare providers across Wilson County next week. 

“Currently 24 locations are scheduled for readers during the week and several more will be added before Imagination Library Week,” said Simpson. “We are excited to take the program to the children and read aloud to them. Numerous studies validate that early reading aloud to children has a lasting impact and we encourage parents to read to their child. This exposure can help children become more aware of other ideas, experiences and people than just in their environment. It can foster imagination and hope.”

 Tolearn how to support Wilson Books from Birth or for information about how to enroll a child in the Imagination Library program, visit wilsonbooksfrombirth.com or call 615-444-5586. 

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