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Books bring smiles
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Kaiden Hall is pictured holding the change jar of money. Students added what they could each morning. A donation of almost $140 was made to Books from Birth. - photo by Lisa Hobbs
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Warren County Books from Birth coordinator Christie Allison reads to the kindergarten students in the classes of Kristi Bost and Melody Brock.

The spirit of giving and a love for books combined on Thursday as 32 kindergarten students gave back to a program that provided them with free books from birth.

Eastside School’s kindergarten students in the classes of Kristi Bost and Melody Brock donated $139 to Books from Birth, also known as Dolly’s Imagination Library. The book program provides a free book for children, birth to 5 years old, each month. 

“The donation for Warren County Books from Birth Program that I received from the kindergarten students and teachers at Eastside Elementary means the world to me,” said Christie Allison, Warren County coordinator for Books from Birth. “To see small children bring in their change to buy books for other children is priceless.”

The two classes have been studying how to distinguish between wants and needs, as well as learning about money.

“We have also discussed spending, saving and giving,” said Bost. “We read several stories about wants and needs, including one story called, ‘Three Jars.’ This helped us come up with the idea of a giving jar.”

Brock added, “Since the students were very familiar with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, we thought this would be a great program to give back to. Together, out two kindergarten classes, we collected a total of $139.70. The students had fun counting the coins and seeing how the coins added up each day.” 

The goal of the donation was to teach the children how to be selfless, show love to one another, and bless others through the simple act of giving.

While Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library provides the cost of postage, book costs are shared equally by Tennessee’s Early Literacy Foundation and each individual county program. Warren County has approximately 1,400 children participating in the book program. The local cost is $1 per book, which means the kindergarten students helped provide 139 children with a book.

Allison read “Coat of Many Colors” by Dolly Parton to the students.

“I loved being able to read to these wonderful kindergarteners when I visited their classroom,” she said. “As a teacher for 35 years, I know the importance in a child being able to read. Without being able to read, it is so difficult for children to be able to succeed in school and in life.”

To make a donation or to sign a child up for Books from Birth, Christie Allison can be reached at 931-668-4022 or by email at