Dolly Parton began the Imagination Library in her native Sevier County in 1996. The program provides a new, age appropriate, hardcover book each month to children from birth to age five at no cost to the family.
In 2002, Governor Bredesen, through The Governor's Books from Birth Foundation, pledged to partner with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library Foundation to help make her effective pre-K literacy program available to all Tennessee children regardlss of family income.
The program's goal is to foster a love of reading in the 375,000 Tennessee children under the age of five. Research indicates that children who cannot read at grade level by the third grade have continuing difficulties in school and are more likely to drop out of high school.
Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee is an organization comprised of community organizations and corporations to bring Imagination Libraries to Middle Tennessee counties.