Comcast Cable Supports New Statewide Imagination Library With New Television PSA, Continued Financial Support

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 | 7:00pm

Cable Provider Renews, Strengthens its Partnership with the
Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation

NASHVILLE – Thousands of Tennessee families are learning more about a statewide program that provides free books to every Tennessee child under age five, thanks to a new television public service announcement (PSA), featuring Governor Phil Bredesen and entertainment legend Dolly Parton.
 
As part of its ongoing sponsorship agreement with the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF), Comcast has produced and is now airing an updated 30-second television message on Comcast cable networks in Tennessee. At no cost to Tennessee’s Imagination Library partners, Comcast’s in-kind contribution for production, editing and broadcast of the new 30-second Imagination Library PSA, is valued in total at over $1 million.
 
The new PSA seeks to inform families with young children that Tennessee’s Imagination Library is a statewide program, funded and administered by the GBBF in partnership with 92 grassroots non-profit sponsoring organizations – most of which are administered on an all-volunteer basis. The spot features the governor and Dolly performing a brief duet of The Hokey Pokey™, and encouraging registration of Tennessee children under age five for the effective early childhood literacy program.
 
“Comcast continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to early education through its logistical and financial support of Tennessee’s Imagination Library,” said GBBF President Lady A. Bird. “We are incredibly grateful for our unique partnership. Most especially, by donating production and air time for these PSAs, Comcast’s in-kind support positively impacts our ability to find and register new children to receive the books at home. They have truly gone the extra mile to increase children’s access to books at the earliest possible age.”
 
In addition to in-kind support to inform Tennessee families about the Imagination Library through the new PSA, the Comcast Foundation has also just renewed its pledge of $50,000 in annual support to the GBBF over the next three years, for a total contribution of $150,000. Comcast’s donation will primarily support the GBBF’s Distressed County Grant program – which covers the full cost of monthly Imagination Library book orders in counties where industry or an adequate donor base for the program are absent or scant.
 
“Comcast is proud to continue helping increase registration of eligible children in the Imagination Library by informing Tennesseans of its availability through our cable networks,” said Comcast Area Vice President John Gauder. “Our initial sponsorship, as well as the first PSA campaign, had such a positive impact, we did not hesitate to renew our investment in this proven early literacy program.”
 
The GBBF maintains a statewide toll-free hotline (1-877-99-BOOKS), and as a result of the new PSA now airing on Comcast cable channels, is responding to an influx of calls from parents and caregivers, eager to register their children in the Imagination Library. The GBBF Web site (www.GovernorsFoundation.org) –also featured in the PSA– has seen increases in traffic that similarly correspond with the release of the new spot.
 
Just over one out of every two Tennessee children –nearly 192,000– are currently registered in the Imagination Library and will receive a free book in the mail this month. Over 77,000 Tennessee five-year-olds have already “graduated” – meaning the statewide program has actually served nearly 269,000 Tennessee children since the creation of the GBBF in 2004.
 
Created in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., the Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, hardcover book every month to registered children, from birth until age five – at no cost to the family and regardless of income. Just $28 annually provides for the purchase and delivery of 12 hardcover books to one child. This cost is split evenly between a non-profit sponsoring organization in every Tennessee county, and a state budgetary allocation administered by the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.
 
About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communications products and services. With 24.1 million cable customers, 13.2 million high-speed Internet customers, and 4.6 million voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of broadband cable systems and in the delivery of programming content. Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, The Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten regional Comcast SportsNets and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet business. Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
 
About the Comcast Foundation:
The Comcast Foundation was established by Comcast Corporation in 1999 to provide charitable support to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The Foundation primarily invests in programs intended to have a positive, sustainable impact in the areas of volunteerism, literacy, and youth leadership development. Since its inception, the Comcast Foundation has donated more than $43 million to organizations in the communities that Comcast serves. More information about the Foundation and its programs is available at www.comcast.com/neighborhood.
 
About the GBBF:
The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation® was established in 2004 by Gov. Phil Bredesen and currently serves Imagination Library organizers in all 95 counties by providing fund-raising, public relations, and other support.
 
To learn how to support your county’s Imagination Library program, or for information on how to register a child, visit www.GovernorsFoundation.org or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.
 
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Broadcast organizations interested in being a part of the continued success of Dolly’s Imagination Library –through a donation of any available air time to inform families about the program– should contact the GBBF and request a free copy of the new 30-second PSA.

Books from Birth