(CLEVELAND, Ohio)—Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine announced the opening of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library (OGIL) today in Cuyahoga County.
Any child from birth to age five can enroll to receive a free, new book from the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library every month.
“I'm delighted that Cuyahoga County’s 75,000 children -- from birth to age five -- can now take advantage of the benefits of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “Cuyahoga County is our 55th Ohio county to offer the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library Program countywide, no matter where a child lives within that county. When we started this journey to create a statewide program to improve early childhood literacy, the Imagination Library was only available in pockets of Ohio and only countywide in 24 counties. We won't stop our work to expand until kids in all 88 counties of Ohio have the same opportunity."
Research shows that book ownership can be a predictor of future academic success. In fact, studies have found that children with just 25 books in their home were more likely to complete an additional two years of education. Inspired by Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine’s passion for early childhood literacy, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to ensure children enter the classroom ready to succeed.
“We are very pleased that every child can experience the joy and excitement of receiving their own brand new book in the mail every month,” said Robert Paponetti, President & CEO of The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland. “For the past several years, this wonderful program has been available in select communities in Cuyahoga County. Currently more than 10,000 children in Cuyahoga County are receiving books monthly. With this announcement, enrollment will increase exponentially as there are approximately 75,000 children under the age of five living in Cuyahoga County.”
The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program is working to ensure children in all 88 of Ohio’s counties can enroll in Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library in 2020 by providing a dollar for dollar funding match with each county that opens the OGIL to its residents. The Ohio General Assembly committed $5 million to the OGIL Program in the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.
To enroll and learn more, visit www.OhioImaginationLibrary.org.