30,000 Tennessee Students to Receive Free Books Over the Summer

Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation announces its K-3rd Grade Summer Reading pilot to provide 30,000 students in Tennessee with six books, piloting a Summer Collection from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, at no cost to families or school districts. All rising 1st through 3rd grade students in 33 participating school districts will receive two books delivered to their homes monthly in June, July and August.


Third grade reading proficiency is a key indicator for a child’s future educational success and workforce readiness,” says James Pond, GELF President. “Through this pilot initiative, we hope to combat summer learning loss and strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by providing students with books and resources outside of school.

Also known as the “Summer Slide,” research shows that two to three months of reading proficiency is lost for students who do not read over the summer. Reading four to six books has the potential to stop or even reverse “Summer Slide.”


Participating school districts were chosen based on the county’s designation of “distressed” or “at-risk” by the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development and the Tennessee Department of Education.


Through this pilot, families will also receive free access to digital learning resources and activities to engage with their children around the monthly books.

Participating Tennessee School Districts

  • Benton County Schools
  • Bledsoe County Schools
  • Carter County Schools
  • Clay County Schools
  • Elizabethton City Schools
  • Fentress County Schools
  • Grainger County Schools
  • Grundy County Schools
  • Hamilton County Schools
  • Hancock County Schools
  • Hardeman County Schools
  • Hardin County Schools
  • Haywood County Schools
  • Houston County Schools
  • Jackson County Schools
  • Johnson County Schools
  • Lauderdale County Schools
  • McNairy County Schools
  • Meigs County Schools
  • Morgan County Schools
  • Newport City School
  • Obion County Schools
  • Oneida Special School District
  • Overton County Schools
  • Perry County Schools
  • Scott County Schools
  • Unicoi County Schools
  • Union City Schools
  • Union County Schools 
  • Van Buren County Schools
  • Warren County School District
  • Washington County Schools
  • Wayne County Schools

For more information, contact Paige Atchley, Program Manager, at [email protected].