Montgomery County and Dayton Children’s Hospital announced the launch of the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library initiative to provide free books to local children four years old and younger, through a partnership with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
The program is aimed at increasing literacy and early learning opportunities for children throughout Montgomery County, and will be provided free of charge to local families.
“I’m so thankful to our Montgomery County partners at Dayton Children’s Hospital and the Montgomery County Commissioners who are bringing the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library to this community,” said Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine. “The first three years of a child’s life are the most important in brain development. Reading can help in that development, which is why Mike and I are passionate about giving every young Ohio child access to free books with the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library Program.”
Montgomery County has committed to financing the program for up to $125,000 over the course of the next three years.
“Investing in early childhood development makes good sense, because it improves our economic competitiveness by setting people up to be successful in college and their careers,” said Montgomery County Commission President Debbie Lieberman. “Montgomery County has a long history of tackling complex problems with common sense and collaborative solutions, and the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library is another project we are approaching with that same drive and dedication.”
Dayton Children’s Hospital has pledged $90,000 over the next three years and has agreed to administer the program.
“We know 90 percent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of life, and that’s why programs such as the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library are so critical to positive outcomes for children,” said CEO and President Deborah Feldman, Dayton Children’s Hospital. “By signing up for this program, parents and caregivers can show children the value of books and set an incredible foundation for learning.”
Additional organizations have pledged donations to fund the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library initiative, including:
- United Way of Greater Dayton
- Public Health Dayton & Montgomery County
- Dayton Metro Library
Funds for the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library will be administered through a component fund of The Dayton Foundation. Individuals and organizations can donate here.