Nissan Contributes Half a Million Dollars to Early Childhood Literacy in Middle Tennessee

Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | 6:00am
Contributions Result in Free Books for More Than 42,000 Children
 in Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Franklin Counties
FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Thousands of Middle Tennessee parents and children are thanking Nissan North America for contributing a total of $505,000 to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) over the past five years. The funds are being used to provide one free, high-quality, age appropriate book per month to children under the age of five enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford and Franklin counties. These books help to develop the childrens’ vocabulary, a love of learning and school readiness.
The generous contributions are part of Nissan’s commitment to invest in communities where its employees live and work. The most recent donation of $100,000 was divided among Imagination Library affiliate programs in four counties. A donation of $50,000 was given to Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee with $35,700 to Davidson County and $14,300 to Williamson County. Rutherford County Books from Birth received $35,700, and Franklin County Raise a Reader program received $14,300.
"Nissan's dedication and partnership through the years has benefited thousands of Tennessee children, and this contribution to the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation means children who might not otherwise have access to books in their home will now receive a library of 60 books before entering kindergarten," said Governor Phil Bredesen. "It's sponsors like Nissan that are making a difference in the lives of our children, and we will see that commitment pay dividends in the future."
Nissan’s first contribution to the program was $25,000 to Rutherford County (home of Nissan’s auto manufacturing plant) in 2005. Since re-locating Nissan’s corporate headquarters to Middle Tennessee from California in 2007, the company has expanded its contributions to Davidson and Williamson counties, in addition to giving in Franklin County (location of the Nissan Powertrain Assembly Plant.)
 “Nissan sponsors numerous educational efforts around the world based on the belief that books and the early development of reading skills are important for children,” said Scott Becker, 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.”
Created in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, TN., the Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, high-quality book every month to registered children, from birth until age five – at no cost to the family, regardless of income. Just $24 annually provides for the purchase and delivery of 12 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 GBBF.
Currently, 57 percent of all Tennessee children ages 0-5 are registered in the Imagination Library and are receiving free books in the mail. More than 188,000 Tennessee five-year-olds have already “graduated” from the program. The statewide program has helped deliver more than 10 million books to Tennessee children since the creation of the GBBF in 2004.
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 or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.
About Nissan North America:
In North America, Nissan's operations 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 and has been recognized as a 2010 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at and

Books from Birth