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ORAU Celebrates Second Annual Imagination Library Week in Tennessee; Works to Boost Enrollment and Fundraising in Anderson County

Sept. 13, 2007

Oak Ridge, Tenn.–Having delivered nearly 91,000 books to pre-schoolers in Anderson County since 2001, ORAU will join the state of Tennessee in celebrating Imagination Library Week, Sept. 16-21.

For the second year in a row, Gov. Phil Bredesen has proclaimed the third week in September as Imagination Library Week in Tennessee, kicking off a fun-filled statewide celebration of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program with a focus on enrollment and fund-raising in nearly all 95 counties, including our own here in Anderson County.

ORAU will support these efforts by visiting Anderson County day care facilities and public libraries.

"As we near the point that nearly one out of every two eligible children in Tennessee is registered in this important pre-kindergarten literacy program, I recognize there are still many more families with young children left to reach," said Gov. Bredesen. "Imagination Library Week is an opportunity to generate greater awareness for the program, and the importance of reading to children regularly as preparation for formal education. Thanks to the dedication and hard work of volunteers in all 95 counties, we are working toward instilling a love of books and reading—at the earliest possible age—in each and every one of Tennessee's children."

Created in 1996 by Dolly Parton in her hometown of Sevierville, Tenn., the Imagination Library mails a new, age-appropriate, hardcover book every single month to registered children from birth to age five, at no cost to the family and regardless of income. A blue-ribbon committee of childhood education experts selects the books for the Imagination Library, which includes such classics as The Little Engine That Could, The Snowy Day, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten.

In June 2001, ORAU became the Imagination Library's local champion in Anderson County, Tenn.—the first county in Tennessee to be added to the program.

To date, ORAU has delivered 90,364 books to Anderson County children, and the organization boasts of 2,011 program "graduates." Currently, ORAU has 2,626 children registered for the program. Anderson County residents may register their children for the Imagination Library program at

Any child in Tennessee under age five can be registered for the Imagination Library. Forty-seven percent of our state’s eligible population—nearly 175,000 children—is currently registered in the program and will receive a free book in September.

The cost of delivering 12 hardback books to one child is $13.50 annually. You may sponsor a child in the Imagination Library with a tax-deductible contribution by visiting

ORAU is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 98 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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