Delta Dental of Tennessee has partnered once again with Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Tennessee’s Imagination Library to award 19 Bigger Smiles grants to Imagination Library programs in selected counties across the state, including Lincoln County Imagination Library.
Lincoln County Imagination Library provides one high-quality, age-appropriate book to all enrolled children, birth to age five, each month, at no cost to families. Each month, the program mails more than 1,358 books to children, and since its inception in 2005, has mailed 171,996 books.
Tennessee’s Imagination Library is made available to all Tennessee children, from birth to age five, through a unique, three-way partnership between Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF), Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, and a local affiliate program in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.
The Bigger Smiles grants will support and sustain Imagination Library programs that have shown exponential growth in the past year and whose volunteers have gone above and beyond in their enrollment efforts.
“We are extremely grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their continued support and generosity in making this Bigger Smiles grant possible in Lincoln County,” said Theresa Carl, president, Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. “Bigger Smiles grants allow us to enroll more children into Tennessee’s Imagination Library, giving the gift of books to more children across the state — at no cost to families.”
Research shows that reading to a child in an interactive style raises a child’s IQ by six points. Imagination Library participation has consistently been shown to increase the amount of one-on-one reading time and nurturing between children and adults. In the Imagination Library model, parents are encouraged to read with the child, instead of to the child, so that parents are engaged in an interactive style.
“We believe in taking care of our children and are committed to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” said Dr. Philip Wenk, president and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee.
Founded in 2004 to provide financial and administrative support for all 95 affiliate Imagination Library programs, GBBF builds a foundation for reading and learning through books for Tennessee’s children. Through an annual state grant and private donations, GBBF funds half of the cost of books and mailing each month and supports affiliate programs with fundraising, volunteer training, and public relations.