CEDARVILLE — Almost every county in Ohio is participating in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program.
Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine announced the progress in reaching young Ohio readers in the program’s first year.
Now, 206,463 Ohio children from birth to age 5 are enrolled to receive a free Imagination Library book in the mail every month. The program is currently offered countywide to children in 78 of Ohio’s counties, with an additional three – Crawford, Van Wert, and Mercer – launching the program in September.
“Thanks to dedicated Ohio lawmakers, who are investing in our kids with matching funding, and our wonderful local partners, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library has made outstanding progress in its first year,” DeWine said. “But we still have more work to do. Mike and I look forward to the day that every young child in Ohio — no matter what city, county, village, or township that child lives in — has access to the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library books.”
Last summer, the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program was available in pockets of Ohio when the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library partnered with the Dolly Parton program. In August 2019, 93,483 children were enrolled. In September 2020 enrollment will more than double.
“I really enjoyed visiting with our local partners and families in 16 Ohio counties between January and March of this year,” DeWine said. “Of course, that was before the COVID-19 pandemic. But we’ve continued working to find county partners during these recent months, because we know this program works. Young children are excited to receive the book each month in the mail, which is addressed to them. And just having these books in the home promotes a love of learning and family bonding that we know adds up to preparing children for kindergarten. I encourage all Ohio children to sign up for these free books.”
Only seven Ohio counties — Ashland, Columbiana, Lake, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, and Seneca — remain without a countywide program.