First Lady Crissy Haslam to be honored for her work in Early Literacy

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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First Lady Crissy Haslam to be honored for her work in Early Literacy

Posted: 03/16/2017
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County is pleased to honor First Lady Crissy Haslam for her work in promoting early childhood literacy and parent engagement in education at its inaugural Under the Big Top Gala.  The gala is set for Thursday, March 30 at The Mill & Mine, 227 W. Depot Street in downtown Knoxville. To purchase tickets for the event, please contact Danielle Velez at (865) 215-8784 / or visit All proceeds will benefit Knox County’s Imagination Library program. 
Mrs. Haslam was a founding board member of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Knox County, which launched in January 2005. Since 2011, as First Lady, her priorities have focused on encouraging parent engagement in education and reading proficiency for children. She has delivered this message through various initiatives, including First Ladies for Healthy Babies, Back to School Neighborhood Knocks, and the First Lady’s READ20 Book Club. She frequently travels the state with the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation in support of Tennessee’s Imagination Library, as well as lending her voice to the Tennessee Department of Education’s Read to Be Ready literacy campaign. Launched in 2014, First Lady Crissy Haslam created the READ20 Book Patrol, a partnership with police and sheriff offices across the state to provide books to children in low income communities and to encourage reading and support for local law enforcement. 
"We are excited to honor our First Lady. She has done so much to encourage early literacy on behalf of families in Tennessee," said Bonny Naugher, chair of Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Knox County. "In fact, Mrs. Haslam was involved in Knox County's program from the very beginning. She is largely responsible for the successful launch of our program. We are truly indebted to her." 
The vintage circus-themed gala will showcase Knoxville Aerial Arts and other carnival-inspired entertainment. Attendees will also enjoy a full, seated dinner. Pilot Flying J, Stowers Machinery Corporation, Home Federal Bank, PetSafe, Clayton Volvo, 21st Mortgage, Food City, Friends of the Knox County Public Library, and Clayton Homes are sponsors of the event.
About Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Knox County
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Knox County mails one new, age-appropriate book each month to any Knox County child from birth until age five at no cost to the family. Imagination Library books arrive in the child's name and are theirs to keep, read and enjoy.  Currently, enrollment in Knox County's program tops 20,000 children, representing 78% of the eligible population. 
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Knox County is housed in the Knox County Public Library and supported by a board of advisors. Each local community in Tennessee must raise 50% of the cost of books and mailing with a matching grant from the Governor's Books from Birth Foundation.