Governor and First Lady Celebrate Literacy Program Success in Memphis

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | 8:41am

Governor and First Lady announce the positive findings of study on impact of Imagination Library and Books from Birth Foundation in Shelby County

MEMPHIS- Governor and First Lady Haslam visited Benjamin Hooks Library today to announce and celebrate the results of an evaluation on the effectiveness of the Shelby County Books from Birth program. The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation partners with the Imagination Library to promote school readiness and a love of learning by offering free, age-appropriate books mailed directly to a child’s home once a month, from birth until age five.

The study found that children who participated in Imagination Library have stronger early childhood reading habits and higher reading readiness scores. The report also indicated that participation in the program increased the amount of time parents spent reading with children, levels of children’s interest in books, and parental awareness of children’s reading levels.

“Bill and I are very pleased that Imagination Library and the Books from Birth program support school readiness in Memphis,” said Mrs. Haslam. “Improving early educational experiences for our children will lead to a healthier community, and these literacy programs positively impact family engagement and academic success for children in Shelby County.”

The Urban Child Institute and Memphis City Schools conducted the evaluation.  Information was collected from 389 children entering kindergarten in five Memphis City elementary schools.

For more information or to enroll, please visit

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