Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio mails kids one book each month until their fifth birthday, 60 books. All kids in Ohio are eligible, and this program is available at no cost to families.
A press release by DeWine’s office states, “Championed by First Lady Fran DeWine and supported by the Ohio General Assembly and affiliates across the state, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio currently mails more than 327,000 Ohio children a free, age-appropriate book every month. The program is open to children up to the age of five in all of Ohio’s 88 counties.”
To date, the Ohio General Assembly has funded the program with over $16 million to continue putting more books in the hands of children across Ohio.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) August 8, 2022
On Tuesday, first lady Fran DeWine held her first annual “First Lady’s Luncheon” with Dolly Parton in attendance to celebrate the success of the Imagination Library in Ohio.
Quality early childhood education & early learning can help counteract the stressors that children living in poverty may experience. @ImaginationOhio w/@FranDeWine have brought thousands of books to Ohio's youngest. Celebrating #NationalBookLoversDay and #DollyPartonDay today! pic.twitter.com/R072zxYaBO
— Groundwork Ohio (@GroundworkOhio) August 9, 2022
First lady DeWine also recently held a press conference at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center to encourage newborn enrollment in the Imagination Library.
“When you enroll a newborn in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, they will be sent 60 books before they enter kindergarten,” she said to conference attendees. “Kids are only young once. There’s only one shot at getting their growth and development right.”
To sign up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library of Ohio, visit https://ohioimaginationlibrary.org/enroll
Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write, Dolly Parton started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county in Eastern Tennessee.
Outside of Ohio, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library serves the United States, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Canada, and Australia. According to the Imagination Library’s official website, there are 2,073,929 kids registered for the program with 186,680,257 books gifted in total to date.
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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Dolly Parton” by Timothy Wildey. CC BY-NC 2.0