Delta Dental of Tennessee and Governor's Books from Birth Partner to Award Bigger Smiles Grant to TN's Imagination Library

January 26, 2017

Delta Dental of Tennessee has partnered once again with Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Tennessee’s Imagination Library to award 19 Bigger Smiles grants to Imagination Library programs in selected counties across the state.

The Bigger Smiles grants will support and sustain Imagination Library programs that have shown exponential growth in the past year and whose volunteers have gone above and beyond in their enrollment efforts.

“We are extremely grateful to Delta Dental of Tennessee for their continued support and generosity in making these Bigger Smiles grants possible in 19 Tennessee counties,” said Theresa Carl, president, Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. “Bigger Smiles grants allow us to enroll more children into Tennessee’s Imagination Library, giving the gift of books to more children across the state — at no cost to families. Currently, 65 percent of the state’s total eligible population, more than 265,000 preschoolers, are enrolled in Tennessee’s Imagination Library statewide. We want to increase that number each year to expose more children to these high-quality, age-appropriate Imagination Library books.”

Research shows that reading to a child in an interactive style raises a child’s IQ by six points. Imagination Library participation has consistently been shown to increase the amount of one-on-one reading time and nurturing between children and adults. In the Imagination Library model, parents are encouraged to read with the child, instead of to the child, so that parents are engaged in an interactive style.

“We believe in taking care of our children and are committed to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library,” said Dr. Philip Wenk, president and CEO, Delta Dental of Tennessee. “Reading is essential to a child’s growth and overall health and we know that these Bigger Smiles grants will enable more children to receive books across Tennessee.”