There will be no shortage of books aboard the Betsy Book Bus this summer. Following a month-long book drive in Elizabethton schools, approximately 14,700 books were collected. The books range in reading level from birth through high school and will be given to Elizabethton children and youth this summer to add to their home libraries.
In a competition between elementary schools, West Side collected the most with a total of 5,273 books and will celebrate with a Dress Like Your Favorite Book Character Day. Clubs at each school spearheaded the fundraising efforts including K-Kids at each elementary school and Student Government Association at the junior high and high school.
“We are really grateful to everyone that participated and to our principals and clubs for helping lead the effort in each school,” said PR Coordinator Bekah Price. “We were hoping to get around 3,000 books and have been overwhelmed in a great way by the books we received.”
Work will begin on the bus in May, with the summer program set to begin in June. Although the summer program will have plenty of books to stock the bus, Price said the they still need about $6,000 to outfit and staff the bus. The bus will visit different Elizabethton neighborhoods and summer programs this summer and for years to come.
“We really appreciate all the support we’ve received from Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation, Appalachian Regional Commission, Northeast Community Credit Union, a private donor, and Carter County Bank,” said Price. “Without these partnerships, we would not have a mobile library in Elizabethton this summer.”
Sponsors are recognized in a variety of places, including (for top sponsors) having their name printed on the bus wrap. Those interested in donating or volunteering should contact Price at email@example.com.
About Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation (GBBF)
The mission of GBBF is to promote early childhood literacy in Tennessee’s birth to age five population. Founded in 2004, GBBF sustains and strengthens Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in all 95 Tennessee counties, ensuring that new, age-appropriate books are mailed to Tennessee’s preschool children, at no cost to the family and regardless of income. To learn how to support your county’s Imagination Library program, or for information on how to register a child, visitwww.GovernorsFoundation.org, www.facebook.com/TNImaginationLibrary, or call toll-free at 1-877-99-BOOKS.