Nissan Contributions to Tennessee County Imagination Libraries Total $305,000
Tuesday, September 02, 2008 | 7:00pm
With 2008 Renewal of Nissan Neighbors Grants,
Automaker Boosts Commitment to Early Childhood Literacy in Tennessee
FRANKLIN – As Nissan North America celebrates the recent grand opening of its corporate headquarters in Franklin, Tenn., thousands of preschool children in four Tennessee counties can celebrate the gift of early reading, thanks to the Nissan Neighbors grant program. The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) today announced the 2008 renewal of charitable gifts totaling $140,000 from Nissan North America. Part of Nissan’s commitment to communities where its employees live and work, the donations will promote early childhood literacy by supporting Imagination Library programs in Davidson, Franklin, Rutherford and Williamson counties.
Recent contributions to Imagination Library county sponsoring organizations through the Nissan Neighbors grant program consist of: A $70,000 total gift to Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee – $50,000 allocated to Davidson County enrolled children, and $20,000 allocated to Williamson County enrolled children; a $20,000 gift to Raise-a-Reader of Franklin County; and a $50,000 gift to Rutherford Books from Birth. Nissan’s 2008 contributions totaling $140,000 to these four counties’ Imagination Libraries will support 10,000 under-five children in the program for one year, providing for the purchase and delivery of 119,658 age-appropriate, hardback books.
With this 2008 donation of $140,000, Nissan North America’s total contributions to Tennessee Imagination Library programs amount to an impressive $305,000. Nissan’s first contribution to the program was a $25,000 gift in 2005 to Rutherford County, where its auto manufacturing plant just celebrated its 25-year anniversary. As all Tennessee counties began to come on board with the Imagination Library, Nissan continued to offer support for the program in counties where its employees live and work, expanding contributions to Franklin County, where the Nissan Powertrain Assembly Plant is located in Decherd, Tenn. Finally, with the 2007 relocation of its North American headquarters to the Metro-Nashville MSA from California, Nissan expanded its Imagination Library giving to include Davidson and Williamson Counties’ programs.
“Nissan North America continues to demonstrate its commitment to providing for the future success of Tennessee’s workforce – not just by employing thousands of Tennesseans in these four counties, but by investing in programs like the Imagination Library that are important to our advancements in education,” said Gov. Phil Bredesen. “A stronger workforce and economy for Tennessee starts with school preparedness. The Imagination Library is putting quality books into the hands of Tennessee’s youngest citizens – a major predictor of success in school, and in life.”
Created in 1996 by Dolly Parton in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., the Imagination Library provides a new, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month to registered children from birth to age five, at no cost to the family and regardless of income. The cost of purchasing and delivering books – just $28 per child, per year – is split evenly between a sponsoring organization in every county, and a State budgetary allocation administered by the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. Nissan North America’s grants are allocated toward the sponsoring organizations’ share – $14 per child, per year.
“Nissan sponsors numerous educational efforts around the world that are based on the belief that books and the early development of reading skills are important for children,” said Dominique Thormann, Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance for Nissan North America. “Programs such as the Imagination Library help to prepare young children for success in the classroom, and success in the classroom can cultivate a passion for learning that opens doors and creates opportunities for a lifetime.”
Any child in Tennessee under age five can be registered for the Imagination Library. Fifty-three percent of the state’s eligible population – nearly 200,000 children – is currently registered in the program. Nearly 95,000 Tennessee five-year-olds have already “graduated,” meaning the Imagination Library has served over 294,000 children since the creation of the Governor’s Foundation in 2004
Nissan's operations in North America include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program 2010, whose key priorities are reducing CO2 emissions, cutting other emissions and increasing recycling. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com and www.infiniti.com.
To learn how you can support the Imagination Library in your county, or for information on registering a child, visit www.GovernorsFoundation.org, or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.