Giving youngsters a jump on reading

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Cannon County Imagination Library and the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) are seeking volunteers to help grow and strengthen this important program, said Rep. Mark Pody.

These programs have "been serving the children of this county since 2006 ... 10 years of providing free, high-quality books to children between birth and age 5, delivered to the child in his/her home mailbox," Pody said.

"As of this month, 48,238 books have been delivered and 932 of our children have 'graduated' from the program when they turned 5 and headed off to kindergarten. This is something to celebrate," the state representative said.

This would not happened without the hard work and dedication of volunteer leaders who have raised funds, engaged the community, enrolled these children and managed the database, he continued.

"Yes, it takes a village to do this and thankfully, the program is now serving 57 percent of the 795 children under the age of 5 in Cannon County," Pody said.
More volunteers are needed to assist with the programs, the representative told a room full of potential volunteers assembled at Adams Memorial Library.
"We need volunteers to help fund-raise, enroll more children in the program and build more awareness of the Imagination Library program in Cannon County," he said.

Each year, the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation requests a state appropriation to pay half of the cost of books and mailing in all of Tennessee's 95 counties. Each county is responsible for raising the other half and for enrolling children.

"At an average cost of $2 per book ... we all know this is an undeniably worthwhile investment in our children," Pody said.

Marcia Melton, Cannon County Schools, is interim Imagination Library coordinator for Cannon County. Persons interested in volunteering for this program can email Mrs. Melton at or call or drop by Adams Memorial Library and ask for Librarian Marsha Petty, 615-563-5861.

Parents wanting to sign-up a child for the book program can stop by Adams Memorial Library to get the appropriate forms.

Cynthia Crane is outreach director for GBFB. She can be reached at

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