GALLIPOLIS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and his wife Frances are anticipated to visit Gallipolis’ Bossard Memorial Library Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. as part of efforts to roll out a statewide partnership and program with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library (OGIL) and Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio.
“The Dr. Samuel L. Bossard Memorial Library is excited to promote the Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library to children ages 0 through 5 in Gallia County,” said Bossard Library Director Debbie Saundes. “As a librarian, it is a joy to place books in the hands of readers. When a child enrolled in this Imagination Library program receives his or her book in the mail each month, parents are encouraged to spend quality time with the child by reading the book together. This is not only a great way to bond with a child but will also improve the early literacy level of each child.”
According to a news release, the OGIL Program, funded by the Ohio legislature for two years, helps promote early childhood literacy in children from the time they are born until they turn 5 years old by providing a new book to that child every month. The books are free to the child, with the state providing a dollar for dollar match with Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio, an organization partnered with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library.
“Brain science shows the first years of a child’s life are the most important,” said Fran DeWine. “Mike and I are passionate about bringing the OGIL program to every Ohio child who is eligible in every county and every zip code. We know it’ll make a difference, because it’s something we’ve seen for years first hand reading to our kids and grandkids.”
“From our perspective, literacy has always been a huge initiative of the governor’s wife,” said Kristy Emch-Roby, chief development officer with Easterseals Central and Southeast Ohio “She heard about the program and thought it was fantastic and wanted to make this happen. Thanks to her, she’s really driving the train in getting this in all 88 counties in Ohio… We wanted to partner with that and, being a nonprofit, we can apply for grants. Having the governor’s support has really launched that to a whole other dimension as far as spreading that coverage… We are doing seven counties in southern Ohio.”
Families with children, regardless of economic status, of the ages from infant to five are encouraged to participate in the program. For more information, visit bossardlibrary.org or https://www.easterseals.com/centralohio/our-programs/childrens-services/dolly-parton-imagination.html.
Registration can be completed online at ohioimaginationlibrary.com or by using a paper form at Bossard Memorial Library.
Bossard also hosts weekly children’s programming through Pat-a-Cake Lapsit programs for children up to age three and story time programs for children up to age six.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.