Governor and First Lady Haslam Launch Celebration of Tennessee’s Imagination Library Week with Social Media Challenge

Governor and First Lady Haslam and Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation launch “Got Caught Reading” social media campaign to raise awareness of Tennessee’s Imagination Library Week 2016 

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and First Lady Crissy Haslam “Got Caught Reading” Imagination Library books today, kicking off a statewide social media challenge in celebration of Tennessee’s Imagination Library Week, proclaimed by Gov. Haslam as Sept. 18 to 24. This week, Gov. Haslam and First Lady Haslam encourage every Tennessean to “Get Caught Reading” an Imagination Library book on social media to raise awareness of early childhood literacy and the joy of sharing books with children.

Through the #GotCaughtReading challenge, GBBF encourages all Tennesseans to post a photograph of themselves on social media reading an Imagination Library book with a child. (Visit the Governor’s Books from Birth Facebook page and Instagram account to see how Gov. Haslam and First Lady Haslam “Got Caught Reading.”)

“We invite all Tennesseans to celebrate Imagination Library Week and ‘Get Caught Reading’ with us,” says GBBF President Theresa Carl. “We are delighted to celebrate Tennessee’s Imagination Library program and emphasize the importance of reading – for all ages! This week in particular, we honor the dedicated individuals and volunteers, in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties, for their commitment to making Tennessee’s Imagination Library a great statewide success.”

(For details about how you can participate in the #GotCaughtReading social media campaign this week, click here.)

Currently, 63 percent of the state’s total eligible population – almost 257,000 preschoolers – are enrolled in Tennessee’s Imagination Library statewide. With over 500,000 Tennessee five-year-olds having already “graduated,” the program has served over one million children and delivered more than 27 million books since 2004. 

Research shows that reading to a child in an interactive style raises a child’s IQ by six points. Imagination Library participation has consistently been shown to increase the amount of one-on-one reading time and nurturing between children and adults. In the Imagination Library model, parents are encouraged to read with the child, instead of to the child, so that parents are engaged in an interactive style.

The Imagination Library is made available to all Tennessee children, from birth to age five, through a unique partnership with GBBF. The core mission of GBBF is to build a foundation for reading and learning through books for Tennessee’s children. Founded in 2004 to provide financial and administrative support for affiliate Imagination Library programs, GBBF assists all Tennessee preschool children in developing their vocabulary, school readiness, and love of learning and reading. To learn more about Tennessee’s Imagination Library and Imagination Library Week celebrations happening in your community, visit

(Like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for higlights from the campaign.)

About GBBF

The Imagination Library was established in 1996 by Dolly Parton as a gift to the children in her hometown of Sevierville, TN. The program mails one new, age-appropriate, high-quality book each month to registered children, from birth until age five. An annual gift of approximately $25 provides 12 books for one child per year. With vital financial support from the Tennessee General Assembly, foundations, individuals, and private and corporate sponsors, the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation funds half the cost of books for the Imagination Library affiliates in each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. For information on how to support your local Imagination Library program, or how to enroll a child, visit or call toll-free, 1-877-99-BOOKS.