Books from Birth gives children early taste of reading

Two-year-old Eily Brown has been receiving Imagination Library books since she arrived July 4, 2011.
Oct 11, 2013

Two-year-old Eily Brown has been receiving Imagination Library books since she arrived July 4, 2011. 

She enrolled in the Imagination Library program before she left the hospital and is one of more than 4,500 Wilson County children who receive an Imagination Library book through the mail every month from Wilson Books from Birth.

“I love the Imagination Library program and even though we might buy books for Eily, the Imagination Library books bring so many more options in our home,” said her mother, Janelle Brown.  “It is wonderful that she gets high quality, age-appropriate books free every month through the Imagination Library program.”

Janelle Brown, who worked in a Minnesota pre-kindergarten classroom prior to moving to Tennessee, said the books have provided a jump in language for Eily.

Although she certainly can’t read yet, she is reaping benefits from having books around the house. That’s what makes her growing collection so valuable, according to Wilson Books from Birth Chairman Peggy Simpson.

“Research increasingly supports the idea that children who grow up around books achieve better educational outcomes in school,” Simpson said. “Scientists also indicate that 80 percent of the brain develops before age 5, so it is important that we do all we can to give the children the tools to get an early start.” 

Simpson said the Taste of Wilson County will give all members of the community a chance to help feed local children’s need for knowledge and in return feed themselves with samples of great food from local vendors. Books from Birth is one of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce education programs that receive proceeds from Taste of Wilson County.

Wilson Books from Birth replicated the Dolly Parton Imagination Library in Wilson County in September 2005 in partnership with the Dollywood Foundation and the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. The pre-kindergarten literacy program provides new age-appropriate books every single month to children from birth to age 5, at no cost to families and regardless of income. There are only three requirements – the child must live in Wilson County, be under age 5 and be enrolled in the program.

The program continues to grown in Wilson County, including:

• more than 350,000 books delivered since the program started.

• 4,515 Wilson County children or 61 percent of Wilson County’s total under 5 population are receiving books.

• 6,262 5 year olds have graduated from the Imagination Library.

• all of Wilson County’s 7,300 children under age 5 have access to the program.

“If you have a child or grandchild in your life, jump on this free books program

offer,” Simpson said. “Start turning pages of some wonderful books with your little ones.”

To learn more about the Imagination Library program or for information on registering a child, visit wilsonbooksfrombirth.com or call 615-444-5586.

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