First Lady DeWine’s new initiative provides free books to Ohio children

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Two girls pick books from the children’s section during the opening of the annual Francophone Book Fair in Beirut on October 22, 2009. The 16th edition of the �Salon du livre francophone de Beyrouth�, will be on till November 1st including several cultural events around it with Beirut being the World Book Capital for this year. AFP PHOTO/RAMZI HAIDAR (Photo credit should read RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP via Getty Images)

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FRANKLIN CO., OH (WCMH)– Children throughout Ohio from birth to age five can now be enrolled to receive a free book each month.

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is heading up the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library in partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

“Our real goal is to make it available to every single child in Ohio, and we’re well on our way,” said DeWine. “We’ve got 56 counties that are totally open. I think all of the counties around Franklin county are about open now, so just about anyone in your watching distance can sign up.”

“Early childhood literacy has so many proven positives in a child’s life, and that’s why I’m thrilled to bring the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program to Franklin County’s youngest children,” said First Lady Fran DeWine. “I hope all 83,000 eligible children — from birth to age five — in Franklin County will enroll to receive a free book every month.  Mike and I believe every child should enter kindergarten with a good, strong start.”

Mrs. DeWine says she has passion for early childhood literacy, which research has shown can be a predictor of future academic success.

OGIL plans to expand to all 88 counties in 2020. In a press release the program says they will providing a dollar-for-dollar funding match with each county that opens OGIL to its residents, and The Ohio General Assembly committed $5 million to OGIL in the state fiscal year 2020-2021 budget.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has famously given more than 100-million books to millions of children all over the world since 1995.

OGIL has many corporate sponsors including Nationwide Children’s Hospital, AmeriHealth, Anthem, Inc., Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, HNTB Corporation, KeyBank, L Brands Foundation, and Sedgwick.

CLICK HERE to enroll in the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library.

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