On August 2, even the animals at the Knoxville Zoo will be tapping their toes and humming their favorite songs. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library of Knox County and Executive Women International are joining forces with the Knoxville Zoo to celebrate early literacy at the Kids Jamboree on Saturday, August 2 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. The event is being held to register children under the age of five for Imagination Library books and to celebrate summer reading. The Kids Jamboree will feature entertaining programs for the entire family. Guest performers include musician Jodie Manross, clown and balloon artist David Claunch, and baby whisperer Charlene Ellis; as well as a special performance by beloved storyteller at Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, Skeeter. Imagination Library is administered locally by the Knox County Public Library. "We hope everyone comes out to celebrate our children and support them in early literacy. Getting a good start in life is really something every young family can do," commented Mayor Tim Burchett. "With Imagination Library and our outstanding public library system, it just takes 20 minutes a day to set a solid foundation that will pay off for years to come."
The Importance of Early Literacy:
Studies show children who are read to from birth have higher academic success in their educational future. A 2012 study conducted by the Knox County School System showed children who were enrolled in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library from birth performed statistically significantly better on third grade achievement tests than their peers who were not enrolled in the program.