It's interesting what parenthood does to you, and I'm not just talking about the weight gain or crow's feet.
For me, becoming a mom put childhood needs at the top of my radar, more than ever before. What I see my kids needing—food, clothing, and education—I want to help other kids get as well, which is why I was excited to be a part of planning this month's Storybook Breakfast fundraiser to benefit the Rutherford County Books from Birth Imagination Library program.
The event is special, created for children and families to enjoy and have fun, but more than that, it's an opportunity to pass on the love and excitement of reading to children across the county. Check out my 10 reasons to join us February 29.
1. 20 Minutes
That's all it takes of daily reading to help children develop a solid foundation for language acquisition and literacy, and yet studies show that nearly 52% of children in Tennessee don't get that. The Imagination Library was created to support family reading by providing an age-appropriate, fun and engaging book each month to the child from birth to age 5.
2. 15,000 Kids
That's how many are currently enrolled in the Imagination Library program from Rutherford and Cannon counties and the numbers are growing (that's a good thing). It costs $120 per child to receive all the books, which is why the Storybook Breakfast is so important—it is helping raise money to buy books!
3. Literary Friends
It's no secret that children (and adults, too!) are drawn to reading if they love what and who they're reading about. At our Storybook Breakfast little ones will have the opportunity to meet some of their favorite book characters—Peter Rabbit, Corduroy, Elsa, and others—and get an autograph in their special edition autography books.
4. We have a Winner, Winner
Families attending the breakfast get to dine on delicious favorites provided by Chik-fil-A. I'm not sure what else to add to that except maybe “‘Nuff said.”
5. Sprinkles on Top
When I was growing I had a teacher that would tell my class that we received “sprinkles” for doing a good job. Well, we have sprinkles at the Storybook Breakfast, so it must be good! Guests can decorate their own confections from Dunkin' Donuts—with all the sprinkles they want. Don't worry about the mess, Mom and Dad, just enjoy it with your kiddos (we'll take care of cleanup).
6. See Where the Magic Happens
Whether you're a regular at the county's library branches or barely know where they are, you'll have a chance to meet reps and staff at the breakfast and enjoy some story time during the morning. Storybook Breakfast guests will also get to meet sponsors of the breakfast and get in on more book-themed fun.
7. Play Dress Up
Let your little one celebrate the magic of reading by dressing up like their favorite characters to come to Storybook Breakfast. With plenty of photo ops on hand, it will be a great time to capture memories.
8. Strike a Pose
Another thing parenthood did to me was make me love beautiful professional photos even more. We're lucky to have photogs Kalyn and Warren Swann of Sleepyhead Photo taking gift portraits of all little readers and their families at the event. Need another gorgeous photo of your pirate or princess in costume? Why yes, yes, you do.
9. It's What Dolly Would Do
When most people hear about Imagination Library they think of Dolly Parton who kickstarted the program in her home county of Sevierville, Tennessee and inspired the program across the globe. We want to honor her incredibly generous spirit, so we'll be sporting (and selling) our “What Would Dolly Do” tees at the event.
10. For the Love
While literacy is an important skill to acquire, it's also a love to develop that will support children's imagination and creativity throughout their lives. Books from Birth provides a substantial means for children and families to develop that love and, and, well, I can't think of a better reason to attend the Storybook Breakfast than that.
The Storybook Breakfast benefitting the Rutherford County Imagination Library – Books from Birth presented by Murfreesboro Medical Center Pediatrics and ENT will be held Saturday, February 29, 2020 at Overall Creek Elementary, with seatings at 9 and 10:30am. Tickets are $15 per person, with a $60 maximum charged per household. Purchase tickets at https://events.r20.constantcontact.com. Sales end Monday, February 24.
Main Image by Angel Pardue Photography