Cannon READS: An Investment In A Child's Future

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In May 2004, Governor Phil Bredesen created the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation to serve as a resource to local communities as they established their own county-wide Imagination Library initiatives. The Imagination Library is a pre-school literacy program designed and developed by a famous Tennessean, Dolly Parton.

Dolly explains that while growing up in a little cabin in the Smoke Mountains, books created within her the imagination of endless possibilities. One goal of Dolly’s Imagination Library is to encourage children to keep dreaming and to help them turn their dreams into a bright future by exposure to learning at an early age. The Cannon County READS Program is the local affiliate of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Research has shown that 35% of children arrive at kindergarten unprepared to learn. However, the Commission on Reading states that the “single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is for parents to simply read aloud to their child.”

Realizing that literacy development begins in children long before any formal instruction, the Cannon County READS Program allows children ages birth to five to receive age-appropriate books. Children participating in the Cannon County READS Program are excited when their books arrive in the mail each month.

Parents have reported that their children are more interested in books and that they have increased the amount of quality time spent with their child. According to findings from the Tennessee Board of Regents, 64% of pre-school teachers and 48% of kindergarten teachers reported that participating children performed better than expected in their classrooms.

Currently, 60% of Tennessee’s under-five population is enrolled in this program. Locally, approximately 68%, or 390 children, are enrolled and receiving books. Because this program is free to all participating children, funding must be acquired from private and local agencies.

Funding for the Cannon County READS Program has been received from the Cannon County Commissioners, the Woodbury Lion’s Club, Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, the Bridgestone Cooperation, and many private contributions. One child can be sponsored for one year with a contribution of $28. 00. All money collected for the Cannon County READS Program goes to funding books for children only in Cannon County and is tax-deductible.

Contributions go toward the cost of purchasing and mailing books each month to the registered children. Please visit these websites for more information regarding this excellent program: HYPERLINK "" and HYPERLINK ""

During 2010, the Cannon County READS Program will be celebrating its 5th birthday. Renewed efforts are being made to identify and register eligible children that are not participating in this program. In addition, the members of the Cannon County community will be given opportunities to support this program with private donations.

During the week of February 14th-20th, you can support this cause by simply donating as you shop at the following local stores:

First Stop Market/Bowling’s Krispy Krunchy Chicken, Osborne’s Bi-Rite, Quick Shop Market, and Smithson’s Piggly Wiggly. Donations are always accepted at the Adams Memorial Library located at 212 College Street in Woodbury.

Or, you may choose to make your donation on-line directly at Parents may also use this website or visit the Adams Memorial Library to register their children for this program.

Please consider becoming a Sustaining Partner by joining 100 Greatest Supporters of the Cannon County READS Program. All it takes is a monthly donation of $15. This $15 donation will cover the monthly cost of books for 6 Cannon County Pre-School Children.

Please complete the attached form and mail it to the Cannon County READS Program, Adams Memorial Library, 212 College Street, Woodbury, TN 37190. Donations may also be mailed to the Cannon County READS Program, Cannon County Board of Education, 301 West Main Street, Woodbury, TN 37190.

If you have any questions please contact: Mrs. Rita Allen, Adams Memorial Library; Mrs. Barbara Parker, Mrs. Marcia Melton, or Dr. Regina Merriman, Cannon County Schools.

Yes, I would like to become One of 100!

All it takes is $15 per month!

Name: ___________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________


Phone: ___________________________________________________

Email: ___________________________________________________

My recurring monthly payment will be made online at

I’ve enclosed the full amount of $180.

I will be willing for my name to be listed in the newspaper/media as being One of 100.

Send to the Cannon County READS Program, Adams Memorial Library, 212 College Street, Woodbury, TN 37190 or to the Cannon County READS Program, Cannon County Board of Education, 301 West Main Street, Woodbury, TN 37190.
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