Bringing Books to Life

Award-Winning Literacy Program

Bringing Books to Life (BBTL) is a free, award-winning literacy program developed in partnership with early childhood educators and performance artists. Centered on the library’s literature-based marionette performances, BBTL takes library resources on the road and equips teachers, parents and children with the skills and tools needed to foster reading readiness at home and lay the groundwork for future school success.

Following BBTL programs, 99% of parent participants report knowing more about their child’s literacy development and 97% report they engage in reading activities more often with their children.

According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, it takes 1,000 hours of “lap time” for young children to have the readiness skills to learn to read. Yet, only 53% of parents in Tennessee read to their young children each day.

BBTL works to combat these statistics with a six week outreach program available to any organization in Davidson County serving preschool age children and their families. During BBTL’s family literacy workshops, caregivers learn the importance of reading aloud with children and receive books to grow their home libraries. Particular attention is paid to at-risk populations; more than 60% of workshops (in Spanish and English) occur in the Nashville’s most underserved areas.

Currently, BBTL collaborates with 191 partner sites including schools, day cares, Head Starts and nonprofits like Martha O’Bryan Center and Conexion Americas. The program reaches an audience of more than 62,000 children and adults each year and continues to increase its outreach to meet the community’s growing demand. NPL is the only agency that provides ongoing literacy workshops at this scale to Nashville families in need.