First Lady Crissy Haslam joined Theresa Carl, president of Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF), on January 31st to accept a $20,000 gift from Enterprise Holdings of Tennessee to support Tennessee’s statewide Imagination Library program.
The contribution was gifted through Enterprise Holdings’ annual Jack Taylor Founding Values Award program that promotes its regional subsidiaries to integrate the company’s core values around philanthropy, diversity, and business ethics into daily operations. As a winning subsidiary, Enterprise Holdings of Tennessee was honored with a $20,000 grant to donate to a local nonprofit organization of choice.
“Businesses can have a tremendous impact in building a better educated workforce and more successful communities by supporting local education initiatives,” First Lady Haslam said. “Bill and I are proud that our local Enterprise Holdings affiliate won this award and that they have chosen to support the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation.”
Enterprise Holdings’ donation will broaden the reach of Tennessee’s Imagination Library, helping to ensure all Tennessee preschool-aged children and their families have access to the literacy improvement program. Karen Baker, Human Resources Manager for Enterprise Holdings in Tennessee, presented the check to GBBF, expressing the group’s commitment to the cause of early childhood literacy.
“We are honored to receive the Jack Taylor Founding Values Award, highlighting our team’s hard work and commitment to the state of Tennessee,” Baker said. “The Founding Values Award encourages us to exceed our customers’ expectations while helping to enhance and strengthen our community. We are so proud to support GBBF and its efforts to improve childhood literacy throughout the state.”
“We are grateful to the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and Enterprise Holdings of Tennessee for sharing our vision to have better educational outcomes by promoting early childhood literacy for all Tennessee children,” Theresa Carl, GBBF President said. “This generous gift will enable more Tennessee children to grow up with books at home, encouraging the development of strong early literacy skills and a lasting passion for reading.”
Several executives of Enterprise Holdings of Tennessee were in attendance at the check presentation. Below is a list of their names:
- Darren Gottschalk
- Karen Baker
- Mike Long
- David Praet
- Yvonne Davis
- Keith Alexander
- Stacy Kretzmann
- Chris Slovan
The core mission of GBBF is to build a foundation for reading and learning through books for Tennessee’s children. Founded in 2004, GBBF assists all Tennessee preschool children in developing their vocabulary, school readiness, and love of learning and reading by ensuring that high quality, age-appropriate books are mailed once a month directly to their homes, from birth until age five, at no cost to families and regardless of income. Now in its 13th year, the program currently mails over 268,000 books each month to enrolled children statewide.
Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out later. In a recent study conducted by the Urban Child Institute, research showed that programs like the Imagination Library lead to early childhood language development, school readiness, grade progression, on-time graduation and college attendance.