Those Who "Think We Can"
Without the strategic support and generosity of our Statewide Partners, Tennessee’s 95 Imagination Library affiliates would be locomotives without a railroad track. GELF is honored to have such passionate partners – some of Tennessee’s (and the world’s) best known brands – as we work together to help every child in Tennessee acquire a love of learning and reading from birth.
*The Little Engine That Could © Penguin Group (USA) Inc. The Little Engine That Could, “I Think I Can”, and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of the Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Used with permission.
Governor's Sustaining Circle
The Governor's Sustaining Circle is comprised of those companies that have historically supported Tennessee's Imagination Library at the statewide level with an annual gift of $50,000 or more.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation
Our newest statewide partner, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Health Foundation, helps provide GBBF with the resources to fuel the growth of Tennessee’s Imagination Library. Since 2003, the Tennessee Health Foundation has promoted the philanthropic mission of Blue Cross Blue Shield by identifying statewide needs and providing funding through grants initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles for Tennessee residents. Our partnership ensures that this statewide program remains strongly positioned to give all Tennessee children, ages birth to five, access to receive high-quality, age-appropriate Imagination Library books. The recent grant from the Tennessee Health Foundation has also allowed us to expand our birthing hospital initiative, in which parents are given the opportunity to enroll new-born babies into the program upon their discharge from the hospital. Through this partnership, we are able to build growth capacity and broaden the reach of Tennessee’s Imagination Library program, ensuring its access to all Tennessee preschool-aged children and their families with the ultimate goal of improving Tennessee’s childhood literacy rates.
A Statewide Partner since 2005, Delta Dental of Tennessee believes in not only oral health, but that lifelong health and early education go hand in hand. Through a series of generous grants to provide more books to more Tennessee children, Delta Dental of Tennessee has helped the GBBF sustain Imagination Library programs in some of Tennessee’s poorest communities. The GBBF is fortunate to work with Delta Dental of Tennessee in promoting literacy as the keystone to a productive, healthy future for Tennessee’s children.
Dollar General is one of the most nationally recognizable Tennessee-based brands, with more than 10,000 stores in 40 states. The Dollar General Literacy Foundation serves to honor the company’s commitment to education through generous grants to a wide spectrum of literacy-focused charities, the GBBF among them. Recent grants from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation have been crucial in helping to sustain Imagination Library programs in communities undergoing severe economic hardship.
Much more than a manufacturer of first-class automobiles, Nissan North America is a major employer in the state of Tennessee, with a corporate headquarters located in Franklin (Williamson County) and production plants in Smyrna (Rutherford County) and Decherd (Franklin County). Since 2005, Nissan has provided significant grants to the GBBF, directly supporting and sustaining the Imagination Library programs in the counties and communities (Davidson, Franklin, Rutherford, and Williamson counties) where its employees live and work.
Governor's Foundation Circle
The Governor's Foundation Circle is comprised of those companies that support Tennessee's Imagination Library at the statewide level with an annual gift of $25,000 to $50,000.
The Verizon Foundation, through a partnership with the GBBF and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (DCS), has provided grant funding to ensure that every age-eligible (birth to age five) child in foster care in the state of Tennessee is automatically enrolled in the Imagination Library and receives monthly books. Committed to addressing social issues with philanthropy, the Verizon Foundation helps some of the state’s most vulnerable children find comfort in the consistent gift of Imagination Library books they can call their own.
Those Also on Board
GELF and Tennessee's statewide Imagination Library rely on our Outreach Partners to help us strengthen our relationship with communities across the state. These organizations help us by increasing our exposure to families, boosting statewide enrollment, and furthering our vision of improved educational outcomes for all Tennessee children.
Read to Be Ready
Read to Be Ready was launched by the Tennessee Department of Education and Governor and First Lady Haslam as an initiative to raise Tennessee’s reading scores among students, aimed at getting 75 percent of all third-graders proficient in reading by 2025. As a supporter of Read to Be Ready, we share the goal of promoting school readiness and literacy, emphasizing reading to children from birth as a keystone to reading proficiency.
The purpose of the First Lady’s READ20 Family Book Club is to give Tennessee families a fun goal of reading together with their children for 20 minutes every day. One book is selected each month as the featured “Book of the Month,” but families are encouraged to continue reading other books together after they've finished the featured book. The July 2016 Book of the Month is "A Snicker of Magic" by Natalie Lloyd. Visit our "Engage with your Child" page to learn more about the book! Click the link below to join First Lady Crissy Haslam's Read20 Book Club.
Kidcentral TN is a one-stop resource for Tennessee families to raise healthy and happy kids. As a family, you will be able to learn about and locate helpful programs, read about popular parenting topics, and even receive great tips for Tennessee children.
Friends of Tennessee Libraries
Friends of Tennessee Libraries encourages local friends to support the Imagination Library and Governor’s Books from Birth. They currently sponsor 15 county Imagination Library programs. In the fall of 2003, the first of several FOTL-sponsored workshops about the benefits of books for children from birth until the age of five was held in Dandridge. Friends of Tennessee Libraries continues to support our mission and increase literacy among Tennessee's children.
Read Aloud 15 Minutes
The ReadAloud 15 Minutes is a national campaign that brings together a group of partners united behind the idea that 15 minutes of daily reading aloud from birth to age 8 can change the face of education in the United States. As a national leadership partner of ReadAloud, DPIL and GBBF promote their cause by giving parents age-appropriate books to be able to read to their children for 15 minutes a day, free of cost.
Tennessee Child Care Resouce and Referral
The Tennessee Child Care Research and Referral Network (CCR&R) is a system of specialists, located across the state of Tennessee, that provide training and technical assistance to child care providers in all 95 counties. The CCR&R also assists parents in finding child-care providers in their area.Today, there are eight Child Care Resource and Referral sites serving all 95 counties.
The State Collaborative on Reforming Education (SCORE) supports Tennessee’s work to prepare students for college and the workforce. They are an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan advocacy and research institution, founded by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. SCORE inspires leaders by sustaining momentum around a common reform agenda, holds a mirror up to the state to illuminate what is working and identify key challenges, and supports work to innovate and develop creative solutions to educational challenges. They achieve this through research-based policy advocacy, strategic communications, outreach, progress monitoring, and highlighting and sharing best-practices. SCORE supports our mission and agrees that getting books in the homes of Tennessee's children prepares them for schooling before it even starts.
Tennessee Department of Health
The Tennessee Department of Health has been a key outreach partner for many years. Our partnership with their Welcome Baby Program has had a strong impact on enrollment growth. In this program, each newborn family is mailed a welcome letter, signed by the Governor and First Lady, that includes our enrollment brochure. We have received over 24,000 new enrollments through the Welcome Baby program since the program began in October 2013. Through their own division as well as private contracts, DOH also performs in home visits with new parents who have been determined to be ‘at-risk’. Home visitation personnel carry our enrollment information and encourage parents to enroll in the program during home visits.
Tennessee Department of Children's Services
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services represents the state’s welfare agency and has also had a strong impact on GBBF enrollment growth. Through this collaboration, all foster children are enrolled into Tennessee’s Imagination Library program. Department of Children's Services staff members enroll each child that enters the foster program, giving the gift of books and the joy reading.
Tennessee Young Child Wellness Council
Tennessee Young Child Wellness Council is a commission of state agencies and services to coordinate child health, mental health, family support, nutrition, child welfare, and adult education and training for Tennessee families. As a partner, we work together with the shared goal of providing Tennessee children with health resources and care, emphasizing the benefits of reading books as both an educational issue and a health issue.
Tennessee Department of Human Services
Through our partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services, parents are given the opportunity to enroll their child into Tennessee’s Imagination Library program at over 130 DHS offices across the state. Case workers at each of the DHS offices now inquire about enrollment in the Imagination Library as part of their in person interview with a family seeking to register for support services. If the family is not currently receiving Imagination Library books, all the children under the age of five are enrolled in the program during their visit to the DHS office. This partnership is expanding the awareness and enrollment of children across the state for whom the Imagination Library books might be the only books in the home.
Tennessee Department of Education
Through our partnership with Tennessee's Department of Education, we share a goal of increasing the reading proficiency level of Tennessee third graders, emphasizing reading to children as the first step. We collaborate to develop and distribute new tools to engage and educate adults in reading with children. Together we aim to empower parents to read to children in a way that promotes literacy, improved vocabulary, and fosters a love of reading.
Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development
In assessing workforce needs with employers, the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development (TDLWD) finds that employers consider literacy skills, including the ability to read, comprehend and effectively communicate what they read as essentials skills in a workforce. As an early literacy partner, TDLWD recognizes the role of Tennessee's Imagination Library in preparing Tennessee’s children from cradle to career.
Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation
In partnership with Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation and Tennessee State Parks Conservancy, Governor's Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) launched the Storybook Trail program to provide a children’s storybook, presented on child-height panels, along a short trail to promote adult-child interaction around books and nature. The trails feature reading tips on each page panel to bring the book to life with the surrounding nature. In addition to promoting literacy and caregiver engagement, the Storybook Trail program encourages families to connect with nature and engage in a healthy, outdoor activity.