State of Tennessee Press Release; April 25, 2011:
Dollar General Renews Commitment to Tennessee’s Imagination Library
Nashville, Tenn. (April 25, 2011) – – Dollar General, headquartered in Goodlettsville, Tenn., has again made a significant contribution to our state’s youngest citizens. Since 2005, the company known for their commitment to literacy has donated $495,000 to Tennessee’s Statewide Imagination Library program.
Dollar General’s most recent donation of $85,000 to the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) will primarily support the GBBF’s Distressed County Grant program. The program covers the cost of Imagination Library programs in counties where industry or an adequate donor database is absent or scant.
“The children of Tennessee are our most vulnerable citizens, and providing them with the opportunity to learn to read at a very young age benefits us all in the future,” said First Lady Crissy Haslam. “We are grateful for this generous gift to continue supporting our state’s children.”
Dollar General has been a statewide supporter of the Imagination Library program in Tennessee since the program’s statewide debut in 2005. Dollar General’s co-founder J.L. Turner was functionally illiterate when he started the company. Thus, literacy is an integral part of the company’s culture. Dollar General’s commitment remains strong, saying literacy is “the one gift that lasts a lifetime.”
“Reading is the single most important activity parents can do for their children to provide them with the tools necessary for a lifetime of learning,” said Denine Torr, Dollar General’s director of community initiatives. “We salute the mission of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation and their partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. This program is helping enrich communities statewide.”
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was created in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn. and was later expanded to the entire state with the creation of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. 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 Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.
Currently, 57 percent of all Tennessee children birth to five are registered in the Imagination Library and are receiving free books in the mail. More than 213,000 Tennessee five-year-olds have already “graduated” from the program. The statewide program has helped deliver more than 12 million books to Tennessee children since the creation of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation in 2004.
About the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation:
The Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation® was established in 2004 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.
About Dollar General:
Dollar General is a leading discount retailer with more than 9,300 neighborhood stores in 35 states. Dollar General stores provide convenience and value to customers by offering consumable basic items such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids and cleaning supplies, as well as basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at everyday low prices. The company has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education. Since its inception in 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $53 million in grants to nonprofit organizations, helping more than 2.9 million individuals take their first steps toward literacy, a general education diploma or English proficiency. To learn more about Dollar General, visit www.dollargeneral.com.