July 2, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Tennessee First Lady
was on hand to say "thank you" today to Nissan North America – a major corporate statewide sponsor of the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF) – at an event held at Glen Leven Day School in
to the GBBF for the fiscal year ending
, furthering the company's legacy of commitment to the cause of early childhood literacy in Middle Tennessee.
Since the inception of the GBBF in 2005, Nissan North America has provided grants totaling over
to the non-profit foundation. The donated funds are used to provide free, high-quality, age-appropriate books to preschool children enrolled in
's Imagination Library in
counties. By fostering a love of learning and reading, the program helps registered children develop their vocabularies and boost their school readiness.
"Nissan North America is an important partner for the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation," said Mrs. Haslam. "The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation and its partners play a critical role in creating opportunity for parents, grandparents and families in
to connect with their children through books and to lay a strong foundation for children to be ready for school."
The generous contributions are part of Nissan's commitment to investing in communities where its employees live and work.
"Nissan is committed to supporting education, beginning with the youngest learners," said
, Nissan senior vice president of administration and finance. "Through reading, children develop curiosity, creativity and communication skills that will serve them well throughout their school years. Nissan is proud to support
's Imagination Library, which helps to prepare children for a lifetime of learning."
All of the state's 407,000 children under age five have access to the Imagination Library. Created by
in 1996 as a gift to the children in her hometown of
, 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 and regardless of income. Just
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 each Tennessee county, and a state budgetary allocation administered by the GBBF. To date, over 15 million books have been delivered since the program began in
is fortunate to have statewide participation in all 95 counties in the Imagination Library programs, a fact we take great pride in and celebrate," said
, GBBF president. "Thanks in large part to Nissan's generous and ongoing support, over 2.6 million books have been distributed in
Counties since the program began in 2005."
An increasing amount of research supports the idea that children who grow up around books typically achieve better educational outcomes in school.