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Wilson County celebrating Imagination Library Week
Sep 18, 2012 6:00 pm
For those who have a hankering to hear the county property assessor read, Wilson Books from Birth is celebrating "Imagination Library Week" this week, and several county notables will show their support for the program by attending local events to read to children.
The Imagination Library is a pre-kindergarten literacy service that provides books to children in the county at no cost to the family. Any child from birth to age 5 is eligible for the program. WBFB is the Wilson County chapter of the Imagination Library.
Peggy Simpson has spearheaded the Wilson Books from Birth chapter since it began.
"Statewide this is the week to celebrate the Imagination Library," she said. "We're reading in 18 different places this week."
She said it's easy to get county officials to come out to schools and preschools to share their love of books with children.
"It's not hard at all; they jump at the opportunity," Simpson said. "During the year, they all ask when they can read. Jack Pratt especially does a great job."
The program just keeps getting bigger and better in an effort to reach more young children and encourage them to stick their nose in a book.
"In Wilson County, we have just gotten a Facebook page. They decided we needed one, so we not only have a website but Facebook as well," she said.
While funds are tight, the program keeps moving forward with fundraising.
"We never stop," Simpson said. "Of course, our Imagination Dinner in April is our big deal. We also got the recent grant from Target, and Cracker Barrel has been terrific."
The program's success can surely be credited in part to Simpson's unflagging enthusiasm.
"This is our seventh year," she said. "I just want children to love books. Statistics show that 80 percent of the brain develops before a child is 5, and if you can catch them at that early age that's so important."
Simpson noted that currently 4,477 Wilson County children are enrolled in the program.
"We also have 5,200 children who have graduated out, meaning they've celebrated their fifth birthday," she said. "Wilson Books from Birth has provided the free gift of books to [more than] 9,000 Wilson County children."
Simpson's goal, and the goal of the Imagination Library, is to teach children the freedom that can only be found in reading.
"It takes you anywhere," she said. "You might not be able to travel to England or Africa, but a book can take you there."
Wilson County will be celebrating Imagination Library Week at:
• Watertown Elementary pre-kindergarten at 9 a.m.
• W.A. Wright Elementary School pre-kindergarten at noon.
• Frankie's Day Care at 9 a.m.
• Treehouse Learning Center in Mt. Juliet at 9:30 a.m.
• Coles Ferry Elementary School at 9 a.m.
• Sam Houston Elementary School at 10:45 a.m.
• Elzie Patton Elementary School in Mt. Juliet at 11 a.m.
• Sam Houston Elementary School at 10:10 a.m. with Chamber of Commerce President Chris Crowell reading.
• Little Lites at First Baptist Church in Watertown at 9 a.m.
• Cumberland University pre-kindergarten at 9:30 a.m. with County Planner Tom Brashear reading.
• Castle Heights Elementary School at 8:15 a.m. with County Property Assessor Jack Pratt reading.
• Coles Ferry Elementary School at 9:20 a.m.
• Byars Dowdy Elementary School at 10 a.m.
At the pre-kindergarten at Prospect at 9 a.m. with Lebanon Police Officer Marlene Guthrie.
Also on tap, Mt. Juliet Library is having a program for Wilson Books from Birth on Thursday at 9 a.m.
For more information about Wilson Books from Birth call Simpson at 444-5586, or visit the website wilsonbooksfrombirth.com.