Burning Books - 04/24/14
Doesn't that title just inflame you? Who would destroy books? Well, your post office has been for months. Yep, that's right. You know those Dolly Parton Imagination Library books the State of Tennessee sends your kids free? Well, the U.S. Postal Service has been shredding the ones it can't deliver to the tune of about 2 thousand every month. That's right, ripping them into bits.
Fox 17 aired a Waste Watch report on this a while back since your tax dollars and donations fund the 'free book program.' Well, now comes news that the Governor of Tennessee has just signed into law a bill banning the post office from shredding the preschool books. I'm not kidding you. We now have a law to SAVE BOOKS! Our state lawmakers really had to spend time crafting legislation to make the U.S. Postal Service use common sense. The new law requires the Post Office to now donate the books to Pre-K and early childhood programs.
This program provides a book by mail every month to kids from birth to age 5 and there's no charge whatsoever. About 217 thousand Tennessee children get the books. My kids did too until they aged out.
The Post Office says it did return the undeliverable books to the state's Imagination Library for 9 years, but then decided it can't offer the free return service anymore when other organizations are paying for the same service. So, its solution? Shred, shred, shred. Makes perfect sense.
Has the Post Office seen the literacy stats? 50% of U.S. adults are not able to read an 8th grade level book. 80% of U.S. families do not buy a book in a given year. Only 15% of inmates are literate. There you have it. It shouldn't take a state law to make us save the books. We all need the mental floss that reading delivers whether we're:
9 months and someone's reading to us-----
9 years and we're reading on our own or -----
90 and our eyesight is failing so we listen to books on tape.
Thank you Dolly Parton for starting this program in Tennessee in 1996.