POMEROY — Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine made a stop at the Meigs County District Public Library in Pomeroy on Monday afternoon to launch the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library (OGIL) in Meigs County. In Meigs County, approximately 1,380 children are eligible to enroll in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.
Any child from birth to age five can enroll to receive books from Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library. After enrollment, children will begin receiving a new book each month, at no cost to their family, until they reach the age of five.
“It is fantastic to be here in Meigs County, the latest county to join the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, today. Every week, I am traveling the state to announce the launch of a new Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library program,” said DeWine at the announcement.
If a child is enrolled at birth they would receive a total of 60 books. DeWine said the first book is “The Little Engine that Could”, leading up to the final book which is “Look out Kindergarten here I come”.
DeWine said that each book costs around $2.10 and is mailed directly to the child, addressed to them, each month. The Ohio Legislature has provided a dollar-for-dollar match for the program, with community sponsors and others helping with the local funding.
The Meigs County Commissioners presented DeWine with a check for $10,000 to help fund the launch of the program in Meigs County. As approved in last week’s regular meeting, the commissioners stated the money is coming from a fund in which the money is from ODNR timber sales, building leases and other non-tax dollar moneys.
DeWine stated that the donation from the Commissioners, along with the state match, should be able to purchase around 10,000 books for children in Meigs County.
As of Monday morning, there were 315 of the 1,380 eligible Meigs County children enrolled. DeWine and Pandora Shaw-Dupras from Easterseals encouraged those in attendance to find the children in the county who are eligible to enroll.
“We want every child to enter school on the starting line, and through our partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library we can do just that.”
Research has shown 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.
“Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio is very pleased to be a community sponsor of First Lady DeWine’s Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library, said Pandora Shaw-Dupras, Easterseals of Central and Southeast Ohio CEO. “Easterseals recognizes the importance early literacy plays in a child’s successful future.”
Following the announcement, DeWine spent time reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to a group of young children at the library.
The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library 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 OGIL to its residents. The Ohio General Assembly committed $5 million to OGIL in the state fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.
To sign up or learn more, visit OhioImaginationLibrary.org.
A portion of the information provided by the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.