Books from Birth Hosts “A Night Around the World”

While all Tennessee drivers must obtain a new license plate this year, many may be unaware a Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library license plate is available as an option for drivers. Simply search or ask for “Dollywood Foundation” when you purchase your speciality plate. A portion of the license plate sale is distributed to the local Imagination Library affiliate within the county chosen at the time of purchase. This means that over $15 of each Imagination Library plate purchased in Shelby County returns to your local affiliate, Porter-Leath’s Books from Birth program, and recent Books from Birth event routine. 

Through the funds raised by local drivers, Books from Birth was able to host its first in-person parent engagement event since the start of COVID-19. This fall, Books from Birth hosted A Night Around the World event at the Karl and Gail Schledwitz Porter-Leath Early
Childhood Academy in Frayser. The purpose of the event was to reengage in person with local children and families and to educate them on
the importance of early literacy. This event created an opportunity for families to participate in multiple literacy activities and storytimes with their children, as they used their imagination to explore other locations around the world. Porter-Leath staff across the agency supported the planning and implementation of this event to ensure it met age appropriate learning experiences and created effective parent engagement, helping caregivers incorporate early literacy in their family’s Children engaged in themed activities as they traveled around the world at a recent Books from Birth event routine.

Over forty children and parents were welcomed aboard to a night of imagination-driven activities and stories through an balloon arch representing the colors of international flags. Little tourists received a backpack and passport plus a photo with their family before their trip began. The busy hallways were filled with children’s music from around the world. At each stop during the family’s experience, staff members stamped the participants’ passports and welcomed families in the language of the destination. Teachers and volunteers showed families how to engage with their child in activities after listening to a story associated with the destination.

Families visited Africa, China, France, Germany, Mexico, and the Porter-Leath Global Village and ended their journeys with a hearty meal. The Global Village allowed parents to learn about community resources and other Porter-Leath programs that were available for their children and family. Approximately twenty-four parents registered with programs to connect their children with
additional resources. Finally, no trip is complete without a souvenir. Each participant departed their tour with a prize to help fuel their love of learning. Parent engagement opportunities such as these are made possible because of you, our supportive and generous donors, to your local Imagination Library affiliate, Books from Birth.

To learn more about Books from Birth or the Dollywood Foundation license plate, contact D. Wynett Jones, Program Director, at