Nashville, TN – Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) announces its K-3rd Grade Summer Reading pilot to provide 30,000 students in Tennessee with six books, piloting a Summer Collection from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, at no cost to families or school districts.
All rising 1st through 3rd grade students in 33 participating school districts will receive two books delivered to their homes monthly in June, July and August.
“Third grade reading proficiency is a key indicator for a child’s future educational success and workforce readiness,” says James Pond, GELF President. “Through this pilot initiative, we hope to combat summer learning loss and strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by providing students with books and resources outside of school.”
Also known as the “Summer Slide,” research shows that two to three months of reading proficiency is lost for students who do not read over the summer. Reading four to six books has the potential to stop or even reverse “Summer Slide.”
Since 2004, GELF has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and affiliates in all 95 Tennessee counties to provide books monthly to children from birth to age five, at no cost to families. GELF’s K-3rd Grade Summer Reading pilot expands book delivery efforts for students in participating districts with specially-selected, age-appropriate Summer Collection books from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
Participating school districts were chosen based on the county’s designation of “distressed” or “at-risk” by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development and the Tennessee Department of Education.
Through this pilot, families will also receive free access to digital learning resources and activities to engage with their children around the monthly books.
For more information about K-3rd Grade Summer Reading, visit the GELF website.
About Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation
The mission of Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) is to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by acting as a thought leader, advisor and catalyst to support and sustain early literacy programs for children statewide. These programs include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Storybook Trails, Book Buses, K-3rd Grade Summer Reading and Caregiver Engagement.
GELF was founded in 2004 by former Governor Phil Bredesen as a public-private partnership to sustain Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, giving all birth to age five children the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. GELF has grown from solely a book-gifting program to an early literacy organization driven by a vision where all Tennessee children have access to the resources, guidance and support they need to become lifelong learners.
About Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation has mailed well over 140 million free books in Australia, Canada, The Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom and the United States.
The Imagination Library mails more than 1.6 million high-quality, age-appropriate books each month to registered children from birth to age five. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading, inspiring them to dream. The impact of the program has been widely researched and results suggest positive increases in key early childhood literacy metrics. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
For more information, please visit www.imaginationlibrary.com