Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


July 24, 2008

Elks Lodge makes donation to Imagination Library

Dolly Parton established the Imagination Library for the children in Sevier County in 1996. The program is available to children from birth to five years old at no cost to the family. A hardcover book is sent each month to encourage parents to teach reading habits to their children. Parton formed a personal foundation to cover 100 percent of the cost in Sevier County.

Governor Phil Bredesen became very impressed with the idea and formed the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation in 2004. The program provided 50 percent financial assistance to each Tennessee County that developed their own preschool Imagination Library program.

The Cumberland County Imagination Library came on board in May 2005. It is administrated through the Cumberland County Art Circle Public Library. As of January 2008, 1,417 children, 55 percent of the eligible child population in the county, are registered in the program. It currently costs approximately $1,600.00 per month to supply one book a month to each child enrolled.

The remaining 50 percent funding for Cumberland County, to date, has been provided by L.P. Shanks Company, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Crossville Coal Company, utilities Volunteer Energy and Middle Tennessee Natural Gas, Cumberland County government, city of Crossville, and individuals.

The Cumberland County Elks Lodge 2751 is proud to be added to this list of contributors. Activities Chairman and Past Exalted Ruler Gene Maher gathered recently with members of his committee, PER Eileen Shapiro, Mary Anderson, PDDGER Al Collins, and Bob Pantea with his puppet Deputy Carl. They presented a check for $300 to James Houston, administrator, Cumberland County Imagination Library. Houston commented, “More funds like this are needed in order to continue the growth of this important program in our county.”

The Elks' June 27 perch dinner served more than 200 people and provided funds for the Imagination Library. More contributions will be made as funds become available.

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