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Posted: Tuesday, 18 March 2014 3:50PM

Senate Committee Approves Books For Brains Legislation

Legislation in support of the "Books for Brains" initiative continues to move forward as the Kentucky Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee Tuesday voted for the bill, which is sponsored by State Representative John Tilley and supported by State Senator Stan Humphries. Appearing before the committee, Tilley stated that "Books for Brains" has already worked wonders in Christian County and Trigg County. Humphries noted that he has seen firsthand in his own family the difference the program makes in the learning potential of children.

Tilley says the idea behind the legislation can be traced to a conversation several years ago with Dr. Scott Sutherland, a Trigg County optometrist who helped spearhead the Trigg County program and wanted to see if the approach could be applied statewide. The Trigg County program has received support from the Trigg County Schools, the Cadiz Rotary Club, and the Trigg County Education Foundation, as well as a variety of civic, church and educational organizations. It began in 2008 with the goal of providing an age-appropriate book a month to as many of the Trigg County children as possible who are five and under.

Since its inception in August 2008, the Trigg County Imagination Library Committee has delivered 37,363 books, at an average cost of approximately two dollars per book, to those Trigg County children. Earlier this year, the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library announced its Imagination Library has put 19,690 books in the hands of nearly 3,000 children.

Tilley’s legislation would build on these local efforts by creating a statewide board to oversee the program, with the state Department for Libraries and Archives handling its administration. Participating counties and the state would work to split the cost of providing a book each month to children five and younger, as long as funding was available.

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