Imagination Library fills a real need | News, Sports, Jobs

At a time when we should all be finding ways to expand our children’s access to reading and learning as much as possible, Ohio is enjoying a victory.

Country music superstar Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, in partnership with the Ohio Governor’s Office, is thriving — and that means more kids are, too.

Early childhood development and education are essential.

According to the Ohio Imagination Library website, 80% of a child’s brain is developed by age 3.

“By the time a child enters kindergarten, they must already know thousands of words to succeed in the classroom. Reading aloud to a child and giving them access to books is the best way to ensure they are ready for kindergarten,” indicates the website.

Having more books at home means a greater chance of success. But we realize that not every family in Ohio has the extra financial leeway to stock the shelves with books. This is where Parton and his partners come in.

Imagination Library was also a favorite project of Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine.

Tens of thousands of books from the Library of Imagination have been mailed to children across Ohio. Many in our area are enrolled and many more have already graduated from the program, statewide.

In Jefferson County, 1,975 of 3,543 eligible children are enrolled, or 55.7 percent. In Harrison County, 483 of 934 eligible children are enrolled (51.7%), while in Belmont County, 1,623 of 3,575 eligible children are enrolled (45.4%) and in Carroll County, 550 of the 1,660 eligible children are enrolled (33.1%). )

The program works. In Cincinnati, for example, where Children’s Hospital began its partnership with the Imagination Library in 2015, children experienced a 15.4% increase in kindergarten readiness rating among those who participated. program for three years. Consider the value to our region in knowing that so many children have the opportunity to experience such improvement.

Imagination Library deserves our support – and there’s a donate button on – but we also need to spread the word and encourage parents of all young children to sign up for this wonderful program.

Our community will be better for it.

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